In pictures: Inside Scotland's unseen weapons ranges

Hulks of old tanksImage source, Alex Boyd
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Visual artist Alex Boyd says military landscapes are "fascinating environments" where alongside the "scars" of live firing there are "some of the most unspoilt landscapes in Europe"

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A new photography exhibition reveals the "unseen areas" of huge Ministry of Defence weapons ranges in Scotland.

Visual artist Alex Boyd has spent several years documenting parts of the Cape Wrath range in Sutherland, Tain Air Weapons Range in Easter Ross and tank and infantry training areas near Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway.

Some of the photography was done while working alongside archaeologists, ecologists and conservationists. Many of the areas are only ever seen by military personnel and not accessible to the general public.

Boyd's exhibition Tir an Airm - Land of the Military - will run at the Stills centre for photography in Edinburgh from 30 September to 13 November.

The show will also feature work by artist Mhairi Killin, who has explored drone warfare testing in the Western Isles.

Image source, Alex Boyd
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The artist, who worked on his project with assistance from the Ministry of Defence, documented fake villages built for training army, navy and air force personnel for deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. This dummy church is at the Tain Air Weapons Range

Image source, Alex Boyd
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Boyd said the military's presence had prevented further development of the land, but he said there were places turned to a "lunar landscape" by warships, aircraft and artillery bombardment and other locations left contaminated by weapons training. The artist said: "They don't always get it right."

Image source, Alex Boyd
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Cape Wrath is a large weapons range in Sutherland on the north Highland coast

Image source, Alex Boyd
Image caption,

Visual artist Alex Boyd has spent several years documenting military training areas in Scotland

Image source, Alex Boyd
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Boyd said the ranges supported "incredible biodiversity". The Tain range contains one of the largest preserved dune systems in the UK, while at Cape Wrath he saw red deer sheltering alongside the remains of charred armoured vehicles

Image source, Alex Boyd
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Boyd took his images over a period of years and walked and cycled across ranges such as Cape Wrath

Image source, Alex Boyd
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Grass grows through bullet holes in an infantry target in another of Boyd's images from his exhibition in Edinburgh

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