Management of Defence - Defence Estates - mod26 - Armed Forces


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is one of the largest landowners in the UK with a diverse estate of some 240,000 hectares (1% of the UK land mass) and is valued at some 15.3 billion. Typically, approximately 1.5bn per year is spent on maintenance and new construction. Some of these costs are offset against income from tenants and other land users.

Defence Estates (DE) is the MoD Agency responsible for the management of the defence estate and provides services to support all aspects of a large and very diverse estate.

The estate is made up of:

  • Built Estate which occupies around 80,000 hectares and is made up of naval bases, barracks/camps, airfields, research and development installations, storage and supply depots, communications facilities, around 49,000 Service Families Accommodation and town centre careers offices.

  • The Rural Estate occupies around 160,000 hectares which includes 21 major armed forces training areas 39 minor training areas, small arms ranges, test and evaluation ranges and aerial bombing ranges.

  • Significant overseas estate in Germany, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar with major overseas training facilities in Canada, Norway, Poland and Kenya.

  • There are 179 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) across the rural estate that is managed by the MoD, the largest number in Government ownership.

  • There are currently around 650 listed buildings and 1057 scheduled monuments across both the built and rural estate. The defence estate includes the largest proportion of statutorily protected buildings held by the government, 43% of all government heritage properties.

  • The size, diversity and nature of the estate is dictated entirely by the Services requirements to fulfil the Defence Mission. The UK estate also includes facilities for US forces based in the UK.