The camp was built in 1939 amid a cliff and sand dune area on the north coast of mid-Cornwall. It was used initially by Army Anti-Aircraft Command as a gunnery school, but became an accommodation and teaching centre for the general training area, where outdoor and leadership skills were taught to Regular, Territorial (now the Army Reserve) and Cadet units.
The prime helipad was a small concrete hardstanding to the NW of the site with an alternate 0.1nm to the SE on the central football pitch. As of Feb 2011, the Army Training Area remains open, with participants housed in the now (mostly empty) barracks at RAF St Mawgan
to the south side of Newquay Cornwall Airport. The camp buildings (only) were put up for auction in Sep 2010.
The southern area of the site includes part of the Penhale Dunes
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), notified for the dune structure, wildlife and plantlife present.