Menu
 
Home | News | Fears for traumatised war veterans on retreat
 
News | 18th March 2021
 

Fears for traumatised war veterans on retreat

 
 
 

Mental health counsellor says no to Eskdalemuir rifle ranges

ARMED forces veterans battling combat stress during retreats at Samye Ling in Eskdalemuir will be badly traumatised by the sound of gunfire from two proposed rifle ranges, it’s claimed.

The Tibetan Centre is used by organisations, which help veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), to overcome their mental health problems.

Veteran Tommy Addison, who did two tours in Northern Ireland with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, regularly accompanies veterans to the monastery for retreats.

His military experiences led to self-abuse but, by going to Samye Ling, he learned grounding techniques and mindfulness which he took back to the Coming Home centre in Glasgow.

He used them there and suggested to other veterans that they also go to the monastery.

He said: “I’m not against gun ranges but I am against it when it’s in an environment like that.

“Honestly, you would have to see the difference in the men. Being there for one week will last them six months.

“They are happy with themselves and not having any problems.

“I’ve seen men jumping onto the floor and hiding and taking cover at the sound of gunfire. It brings it all back into their heads.

“It’s not just about avoiding the gunshots but all the other things going through their heads and it’s very traumatising for them.

“They’ve been in some very bad situations as far as gunfire is concerned. I’ve had sergeants and majors crying on my shoulder.

“PTSD has 15 different symptoms and you need only four to be diagnosed.”

Tommy is concerned that, if the shooting ranges are approved, their use could increase and different types of weapons used.

He added: “Once a range like that starts, it becomes popular and opens other avenues for other stuff.

“As soon as I heard 50 calibre rifles mentioned, I said no. These guns need more gunpowder so make a louder bang compared with small arms.”

Dumfries and Galloway planning councillors are due to consider retrospective planning applications for both Over Cassock, owned by E Glendenning and run by the 50 Calibre Shooting Association, and Clerkhill, owned by Eskdalemuir Forestry and operated by Gardners Guns of Longtown, next month 

19,000 signatures

A petition on Change.org has more than 19,000 signatures calling for a public consultation on the issue. The deadline to comment on the applications ends today.

Eskdalemuir Community Council wants to see the applications rejected and the ranges shut. 

The prolonged and significant noise levels are causing great nuisance and distress to the community.

There are also unanswered questions about whether COVID-19 lockdown regulations have been breached by shooters coming from England and how US Air Force special forces were allowed to run military training operations at Clerkhill.

The range at Clerkhill Farm was built in June 2020 and Gardners Guns ran its first competition there in July 2020. 

The other range at Over Cassock appeared in 2017 and was operated until March 2020 by Gardners Guns when its operation was taken over by the 50 Calibre Shooting Association (FCSA).   

Nicholas Jennings, community council chairman, said: “It’s unreasonable for huge rifle ranges to be set up and run without planning permission and then to try to get consent later without any consultation with residents. 

“This is peaceful and quiet area characterised by forestry and farming and its historical and archaeological features, like the Iron Age hill forts and stone circles. 

“We are home to a creative community of artists, writers and musicians alongside a large, peaceful Buddhist community.”   

Samye Ling, established five decades ago, is of national and global importance to Buddhists and other faith communities.

People come from all over the world to visit, attend retreats and learn meditation and mindfulness.   

Tourists enjoy the peace and quiet, walk and cycle, visit the archaeological sites and attend retreats and mindfulness courses.

Businesses, which cater for them, say the ranges will be detrimental. 

The community welcomes appropriate development which builds on and enhances the peaceful nature of the area.

The development of the ranges is incompatible with existing uses and detrimental to the development of eco and cultural tourism.  

Shooters on the range are using high calibre rifles, of the type the Scottish government hopes to ban, to hit targets and metal gongs over 2km.

Mr Jennings says the planning applications submitted avoid being classified as a major development with the required public consultation.   

The planning authority initially told the community council that both would be treated as major developments.   

Residents are concerned that the owners of Clerkhill Farm intend to offer the estate for use by the military, internationally.  

He added: “The character of this area should be cherished. It’s certainly no place for these kinds of deeply unwelcome activities.”

Residents are now calling on the council and all the area’s political representatives to take action.

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

‘Blame the Duke’, Loki tells Langholm

By Penny Johnstone Rapper wades into buyout debate in latest…

 

Tub Turnbull’s ‘Ride Oot Bye’

By Gilly Fraser For the first time in three years,…

 

‘My boy is broken-hearted’

Lennon, 12, left devastated after ‘despicable’ thieves target his beloved…

 

Institute raises a cuppa to 100 wonderful years

Retiring president Nancy McLure welcomed members and guests to the…

 

Showing Charolais

By Gilly Fraser “The Royal Highland Show is special for…

 

Drummer Kyle kills it with Brandon & Co

Sheer delight is etched on Kyle Grieve’s face as he…

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

After torrent floods derelict church, residents unite in campaign to…

 

Leila's a vintage virtuoso!

If vintage clothes make you think of mothballs and third-hand…

 

New owners for town's 20-year Erskine eyesore

But clamour grows to tear down derelict, ‘dangerous’ High Street…

 

The blissful sound of silence

Residents celebrate after church bells are finally silenced

 

Let’s do it for Dylan!

As his mum appeals for a life-changing loo in Langholm,…

 

Pyrotechnics and parties for our marvellous monarch

Locals plan to hold a weekend of right royal celebrations

 

'I'm so glad my dad isn't here to see this'

Local opponents hit back at Tarras Valley plans

 

Ruairi to lead the way as Big Day returns at last

Langholm elects its new Cornet with 1,100 votes cast

 

Male is back as just 19 votes decide council seat

Ron Tait ousted in Ward 12 by returning independent candidate

 

Obituary to well loved lady

Tributes paid to much love

 

Last gasp lifeline for Tarras Valley project

Two month extension agreed for £450,000 needed to secure buyout

 

Butchers facing chop

Refurbishment row leads to couple’s decision to quit

 

Care village moves a step closer

£1.4m footbridge will connect new scheme to town

 

Rail group sends signal to Holyrood

New Waverley route must include Langholm say campaigners

 

Election briefing

Use your vote wisely

 

For whom does the bell actually toll?

Parishioners and minister clash over ‘intrusive’ ringing

 

Buccleuch to put 30 homes on the market

Tenants of Buccleuch Estates say they are shocked and distressed…

 

Bus driver crisis is getting serious

Transport company Borders Buses has introduced an emergency timetable after…

 

Ukrainian Hosts meet wall of silence

Generous residents frustrated with housing delays

 

Janet's in the frame for gallery as Phil steps down

By Nick Brownlee It’s the end of an era at…

 

High Noon for Eskdalemuir Marksmen

Opponents claim elite rifle range could put lives at risk

 

End of an era as Common Riding trio announce retirement

By Nick Brownlee Three stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding say…

 

Butcher's face the cruellest of cuts

Heartbreak for couple faced with closure of their High Street…

 

New lease of life for leisure centre plans

Facility would provide “huge health and wellbeing benefits for area”

 

Local plans drawn up to host Ukrainians

Polish charity will match families with hosts in Eskdale

 

"Pristine" items wanted and calls for cash donations

When the call went out last week for donations of…

 

Proud memories of Langholm's Moon Man

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Visit

 

Unmanaged vegetation is potential tinderbox

Heather Trust member expresses his concern over wildfires

 

Favourite local walk is changed forever

Gaskell’s footbridge removed over increasing safety concerns

 

Ill-considered approach

Analogue phone switch-off will leave remote communities vulnerable

 

Objections to four hour online consultation

Residents call for more time to examine rifle range scheme

 

Local Authority plans Council Tax hike of 3%

Very difficult decisions will have to be made

 

Digital donations

Young and old receive new computer equipment

 

Residents worried sick over rising prices

Politicians warn of impending cost of living crisis

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.