WALKERS are being urged to avoid an army training camp during live fire in order to preserve access to a popular beauty spot.

Last autumn, the Ministry of Defence put up signs across Holcombe Moor informing walkers they had shut off access to a path to Bull Hill.

The decision was taken after problems with people trespassing on land belonging to Holcombe Moor Training Camp during live firing periods.

Previously, walkers could use the path unless red flags were being flown, indicating live fire was taking place. As the route is not a public right of way, it meant walkers could no longer use it to access the hill and the popular route to Pilgrim’s Cross.

A campaign was set up by the Friends of Holcombe Moor group to try to get the decision overturned. With the help of Bury North MP James Frith, who wrote to the then defence minister Tobias Ellwood, the MoD agreed to reopen the path when live fire is not taking place.

John Southworth, from the Friends of Holcombe Moor group, said he was “delighted” an agreement had been reached.

But, he urged walkers to adhere to the moor’s red flag system to ensure it remained open.

“It is extremely dangerous to ignore the red flags,” he explained.

“People that cut across the moor are putting themselves at severe risk. It is a fantastic place whether you are a runner, walker or bird watcher and we want access to remain open.” A list of firing times can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/holcombe-moor-firing-times.