Military officials have criticised members of the public using Salisbury Plain after using safety points as dog poo bins.

The Salisbury Plain Training Area, managed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), said that tapping-in points across the military training area were being used by walkers as a receptacle for bagged dog waste and other rubbish. They said that cleaning the points takes up a member of staff's time, "diverting them from keeping an eye out for your safety."

In a statement, they said: "Unfortunately, we have to bring some misbehaviour to your attention. Please be aware that there are no litter bins on the training area. You must take your rubbish home with you.

"Some people have discovered some of our communication tapping-in points and mistaken them for bins. These are to establish a wired connection to Range Operations and are a safety feature. Even when the unfeasibly small receptacle is full, some have dumped their rubbish next to it.

"Be aware that this takes a member of staff to clean up, diverting them from keeping an eye out for your safety."

They added: "Tapping in points are safety communication points, NOT dog poo bins. Bag it and take it home!"

Salisbury Plain was first purchased by the military in 1897 and covers 38,000 hectares - around a ninth of the total area of Wiltshire.

It is used for training and live firing exercises, but many public rights of way cross the land - though those crossing firing areas are closed while weapons are being used.

In August last year, the DIO took delivery of 10 drones that its training safety marshals use to patrol the plain. They are equipped with loudspeakers to warn members of the public that they are on the edge of out-of-bounds areas, as well as monitoring illegal activity.