I used to live in Fleet for 32 years right next to Aldershot ranges - for most of that time, there was pretty well unimpeded access to the Aldershot ranges (except the live firing areas) for recreation. About 8 years ago they fenced off many areas without consultation and locked the gates. The problem is that MOD are ignoring their own policy re access, are obstructive to public consultation and individual rangers have taken it upon themselves to 'enforce' arbitrary rules - like confronting cyclists and groups of walker. Reasons for exclusion are often spurious like security and 'health and safety' and gates are more often than not locked when there is no training taking place.
Back in my 'yoof' days I used to do a lot of off-roading on Salisbury plain... not all of which was in legal areas. Ahem. Every now and then I'd get chased by the MOD police (once caught, at the cost of a trashed Police XC90), but one particular time I managed to outrun the MOD landy and was making my way up over a hill when suddenly a bloody Apache gunship popped up over the crest of the hill about 30m directly in front of me!
Needless to say I nearly crapped myself... was very much like the scene from an American action film. Pretty sure it was unrelated to the recent evasion of the MOD landy, but gave me a fright none the less. I bet the Apache pilots were just entertaining themselves and thought it would be hilarious to scare this teenager in his Series 3... It worked. I would have done the same for sure, if I was them! haha
After the initial brown trouser moment, it was of course pretty funny. However, in relation to the article, I don't think they are REAL scare tactics unless Apaches armed with Hellfire missiles are used Perhaps that will be the next step?