Beauty and the battlefield meet

This remote area is the wild heart of the National Park. Covering nearly a quarter of Northumberland National Park, it is a wildlife lover’s paradise.

Moorland birds, wild goats and even the rare black grouse have flourished here with so few humans around. This is because Otterburn Ranges has been owned since 1911 by the Ministry of Defence.

Twenty-three per cent of Northumberland National Park (stretching from the A68 to Upper Coquetdale) is owned by the Ministry of Defence and used as a military training area. It is the shared aim of the Northumberland National Park and the MoD to encourage as much access to the area as possible.

Download our Access Guide for more information – Otterburn Ranges Access Guide.

Access to the Otterburn Ranges

Sometimes areas are cordoned off from the public for military exercises. Visitors are welcome outside of live firing times if no red flags are displayed.

You may still hear blank ammunition and pyrotechnics being used. You are free to access land to the north of the River Coquet at all times as here there is no live firing.

You can find the Otterburn firing times on the Ministry of Defence’s website, here.

Safety Guidelines

  • When military exercises are happening, red flags around the boundaries indicate restricted access.
  • Do not pick up, kick or remove any object.
  • Do not stray off the public rights of way or tarmac roads.
  • There is no guarantee that roads and tracks will be salted or cleared of snow in bad weather.

If you are in any doubt about where you can go, please contact the Range Liaison Officer by phoning 0191 239 4201/0191 239 4227.

Cycling in the Otterburn Ranges

On Sunday 16th April the Modrocker came to the Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland National Park.

Permission was given to event organisers Pedalling Squares and High Fell Events by the Ministry of Defence for a cross ranges ride that also cut above Elsdon, Hepple, Rothbury and Holystone.