Last weekend, I did the Salisbury Plain Walk, part of which circles around the village of Copeland Hill.
After making sure there weren’t any FRZs or NOTAMs on Drone Scene, and no signage about stating no drones aloud … I TOAL’d from the public footpath and grabbed short 3 minute video of the empty village.
From a distance, Copehill Down looks just like any other new development of houses cropping up all over the county. It’s only as you get closer, to this most unusual of Wiltshire villages that you begin to realise that there’s something not quite right. Not only is it not mentioned on any maps of the area, but it’s been built on a firing range on the edge of tank-track scarred Salisbury Plain.
Twinned with Bonnland Hammelburg, a military training village in Germany, Copehill Down was built in 1988 as a mock-up village for troops to hone their skills at ‘FIBUA’ or fighting in built-up areas. The mock Bavarian village not only boasts a pub and bar, a train depot with railway tracks and six or so train wagons, but also a church named after the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, St Judes. The small Eastern Block village also boasts a fake garage, a petrol station, shops and a school.
With 80 plus buildings and over 2,000 rooms, it’s the largest FIBUA training facility in Western Europe. Covering an area, almost 350m by 450m, the northern European looking Town got itself a neighbour, a decade ago, an Iraqi looking village which has, as far as we know, remained nameless. Built out of ISO Cargo Containers balanced one on top the other the Iraqi Village has also been purpose built by the MOD for FIBUA training.
The public footpath circles around the town, and there were quite few people out that day. On the DIO website, it does say walking into the village is not permitted. That said, it is completely open, and I am sure some folk do walk through it.
None whatsoever. Like I said, there were loads of walkers out, some families walking their dogs. And nothing to stop people wandering into the village, which is a bit mad. No barriers or fences, nothing.
I didn’t chance it, I TOAL’d from here (blue circle), then got the hell out of there
@clinkadink Nice one Chris , an unusual departure from your documentary style vids but totally appropriate given the subject matter. Your search for the right music paid off, and along with the horror vibe effects, it totally works. It’s enough for me; I’ll not be planning a visit there anytime soon! It’s like going down to the basement, with the lights not working on a stormy night… no way!
Yes, it is not my norm for sure. It wasn’t even a planned shoot. I happened to be there, thought about taking some photos - but then thought a short video would be better to capture the vibe of the place.
I have 2 other vids that I am in the progress of making, which are my usual documentary style vids. One of which has taken 4 months to put together so far
Great feedback, Col. In person, the place is very eerie and I wanted to get this across in the video. I hadn’t done those type of effects before, so had to learn how to make them in Premiere. Thankfully, there’s a lot of how-tos on YT. Really enjoyed making it, and happy with the short but spooky end result
Back in the day I did a couple of Airsoft events there.
Assaulting up the road into the village following an APC as the sun started to set and then fighting through the village in the night with tracer fire between buildings above will be something I’ll never forget.