Thousands sign petition to stop plans for shooting range near Buddhist temple

Credit: ITV News

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition fighting plans to build two shooting ranges near a Buddhist monastery in south west Scotland.

Tibetan monks at Samye Ling, the largest Buddhist temple in western Europe, are opposed to the plans which could see US Air Force special forces train with military-grade weapons 2,000 metres from their retreat.

Those behind the plans say it will be good for the post-Covid economy but the Buddhist community in Eskdalemuir, Dumfries and Galloway, says it goes against their principles of peace.

The likes of David Bowie and Billy Connolly visited the monastery. Credit: PA

The temple has hosted the likes of David Bowie and Billy Connolly, and sees tens of thousands of visitors each year from across the globe take part in courses and retreats.

Gardners Guns and Clerkhill Farm are submitting a joint application for the range to be based at the farm, just a couple of miles from Samye Ling.

Both companies say they've had support from businesses in the local area and estimate the range "would generate in excess of £500,000 for the local economy from the onset."