A campaign is being launched to deter the public from accessing the Catterick military training area when it is not safe.
According to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), there have been hundreds of ‘near misses’ in recent months.
A near miss is recorded when an unauthorised person comes within 200m of a live exercise.
Many involve serving military personnel and their families, officials say.
DIO is launching a hard-hitting safety campaign, The Training Area Isn’t, which aims to prevent serious accidents on the training area.
DIO is responsible for managing and maintaining the entirety of the estate on which the Armed Forces train.
The organisation says incurring onto the estate while training is taking place puts individuals lives at risk along with their families and Service personnel who are training.
In addition to the risk to safety, accessing the training estate when it is not safe to do so can be disruptive to military exercises and result in a cost to the MOD if training is delayed or cancelled.
DIO uses a range of measures to keep users of the training estate safe including using flags, digital signage and employing wardens, however these warnings are often ignored.
The ‘The Training Area Isn’t’ campaign uses powerful images to reinforce safety messages.
Posters highlighting the campaign will be placed at locations in and around Catterick Garrison and surrounding areas.
A dedicated webpage for the campaign has also been launched providing information and advice for the public on using the training estate safely.
Brigadier Jonathan Bartholomew, head of DIO’s overseas and training region, said: “The Catterick Training Area offers some beautiful footpaths and bridleways and we don’t want to deter people from using them.
“The message from DIO is clear. We want you, your families and the local community to use them responsibly. The military train every day, so only access the training area where and when it is safe to do so.
“At Catterick this is only on recognised public rights of way and bridleways. There is no right to roam.
“Just because you can’t see or hear a live exercise, doesn’t mean that it isn’t taking place.
“We want to keep you, your children, family and friends safe. We ask you to work with us to promote this critical message.”
For more information please visit the Safe Access web page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safe-access