Wiltshire farmer gets apology from Army for stray shell

Map showing where the shell landed It is believed the gun was fired northwards from near Tilshead and was intended to land inside the danger zone, but went five miles further north to Patney

The Army has apologised after an artillery shell landed in a farmer's field in Wiltshire.

A spokesman said it had launched a "thorough investigation" after the round landed on Andrew Snook's land.

The shell left a 6ft (1.8m) wide crater when it hit the ground 980 ft (300m) from a railway line at Patney, near Devizes.

Nobody was hurt and live firing will remain suspended until the investigation is completed.

According to the spokesman, the officer "responsible for the safe use of the range" has now apologised to the land owner.

He added that local residents would be kept informed and "if deemed appropriate, additional safety measures" would be put in place.

"The safety of both our own personnel and of the general public is our priority in all training serials."

Salisbury Plain is the UK military's largest training area, with live firing taking place on average 340 days a year.

Crater on farm The shell left a crater in farmland in Wiltshire

BBC Wiltshire



Min. Night 9 °C


  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?

  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament

  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?

  • A dog being dragged along the roadFlesh search

    An abused dog leads to an online hunt for the perpetrator

  • John Graham (right) and wife Susan held a press conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, on 21 September 2014Risky manoeuvre

    Hostages' families roll the dice with public appeals for release

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.