Princess Anne opens Melton military base's new carbon neutral site

Princess Anne has officially opened a new £4.1million carbon neutral training facility at the Remount Barracks in Melton.

By Nick Rennie
Friday, 29th April 2022, 5:11 pm
Updated Friday, 29th April 2022, 5:20 pm
HRH Princess Royal visits the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) at Remount Barracks, Melton Mowbray (Copyright, MOD 2022)

She visited the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR), off Asfordby Road, to see first hand the state-of-the-art new build, which includes three new classrooms, indoor and outdoor training areas, a new station headquarters office space and training accommodation.

Members of the Canine Training Squadron (CTS) - the largest squadron within the DATR – will benefit from the major upgrade at the site.

Together they train the highly skilled military dogs and their handlers for a variety of roles including police force protection, arms and explosives searches, Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED), and drugs search operations both in the UK and overseas.

Home to around 200 working dogs at any one time, it employs 50 army personnel and 20 RAF Police personnel, supported by a team of civilians.

The new facility, which is also 96 per cent self-sustaining, has replaced the portacabins which previously housed the Squadron Headquarters staff, and the timber-framed buildings which had been used for training since the 1940s.

DATR Commanding Officer, Lt Col Mike Robinson RAVC, said: “The Defence Animal Training Regiment provides innovative and crucial training for our

personnel and military dogs.

“I am pleased the Canine Training Squadron headquarters is officially open and can continue to provide a great learning environment for our Armed Forces whilst fulfilling our NetZero objectives.”

The Princess Royal was shown around the new student classrooms and HQ facilities and she met service personnel and civil servants who showcased the training of military dogs and their handlers, and the range of capabilities they provide to the MOD.

She heard how the new facility will generate its own power using six rows of solar panels. Other cost-saving and ecological features include a battery generator which will provide the building’s electricity requirements, and an air source heat pump to keep the building warm.

A heat recovery system will also ensure that any heat produced is drawn out via a ventilation duct and filtered to the offices and training facilities.

All internal walls have been designed to be easily re-configured, reducing carbon dioxide emissions should the building be demolished and rebuilt at a future date.

A greywater harvesting system has been installed to collect waste water from wash basins, showers and baths and feed it through a filter before being reused to meet the various sanitary and non-drinking requirements of the station.

This will reduce the use of the main water supply by up to 60 per cent. Rain water will also be used for the soldiers’ boot-cleaning duties, and new bike racks will encourage personnel to cycle to work.

The project has been delivered by Amey Defence Ltd on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), with Woodhead Group as the main build contractor.

The royal visitor was also invited to plant a tree on site as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy – the initiative which is part of the national celebrations to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.