Sites Open, but tread carefully please

By Brian Stewart on  May 14, 2020 21:43

We’re at the point where we have been released from the grip of gravity again. There is still some way to go, but it has been very gratifying to see the almost perfect adherence to the guidelines issued by CAA, BHPA and the member clubs across the UK regarding free flight. One of the outstanding characteristics of PG and HG pilots, and our powered cousins, is a willingness to assess risk, make reasoned judgments and take responsibility for the consequences. That this has not led to large numbers making the assessment that it’s OK to fly despite the official line, is a testament to the responsible attitude of the vast majority of us.

The club’s officers have been in constant communication with the BHPA, our neighbouring clubs and the various individuals and bodies that control the land around our sites to coordinate our approach to the easing of restrictions. Rest assured that we were all desperately keen to get back to what we love as soon as it became safe and reasonable to do so.

Our sport is but a niche recreational activity on the fringes of aviation which is a large multi-billion-pound industry. It is only through the hard work the BHPA’s officers over decades that we have such light-touch, unlicensed (and therefore untaxed) regulation of our activities. The future of this relationship depends on CAA and, by extension, the government, remaining convinced that paragliding and hang gliding are governed responsibility by the BHPA through its network of local clubs.

As the aviation industry shrinks, there is an opportunity to influence the future airspace plans that are afoot. We have a dog in this fight, albeit a rather toothless, three-legged one-eyed mongrel, but we have a voice and have made representations to derestrict some of the blocks of airspace that get in our way downwind of Parlick and Pendle. I’m not expecting too much to come of this, but one way to guarantee no movement will be to discredit our organisations in the eyes of the CAA.

Please remember too that when we go to Parlick or Pendle or wherever, we are guests in the neighbourhood. People are fearful of the virus and may be very wary of the return of visitors from outside. Take heed of the guidance given in the BHPA document regarding hygiene and social distancing – we are only in phase 1 of the re-opening.

So, thank you to all of you for your patience, and please – resist the temptation to use closed sites until we get the go-ahead. Remember that even though you may be invulnerable and indestructible, someone close to you or an onlooker may be only one contact step away from another with a pre-existing condition that means serious consequences if they were to catch this virus. There are still thousands of new infections each day, and that’s just among those able to get tested.

Enjoy the skies, and thank you for waiting.

Parlick East–Bottom Landing Exclusion Zone

By Andy Archer on  August 13, 2019 19:27

Hi All,

A couple of weeks ago one of our members was challenged by the Wolfen Hall Gamekeeper for landing in the fields below Saddle End Farm.  It seems that the the owner of Wolfen Hall purchased Saddle End Farm and surrounding land a few years ago, as such they are now breeding game birds on the land surrounding Saddle End as well as the land directly below the east face of Parlick.

We have been asked not to land in the area marked in red on the plan, this is a much larger areas than previous.   Please adhere to this.

If you are approached by the game keeper please be respectful and understanding of their frustration with you, it is their livelihood after all.  Please report it to me so that I can manage the situation. 

As it was the PSC member involved had a good conversation with the gamekeeper and reported it to me straight away, this allowed me to contact both the game keeper & landowner to understand the issue and obtain the latest info of the Exclusion zone.

Wolfen Hall Land - No Landing

Thanks

Andy Archer

PSC Sites Officer

07824 321575

Winter Hill–Gate to be Locked

By Andy Archer on  June 14, 2019 07:29

 

I have just been contacted by the secretary of the Rivington Soaring Association (modellers) stating that some of their members were stopped recently by Arqiva TV Mast security staff as they went up the road past the Winter Hill transmitter.

The staff told them that the bottom gate on the access road will be locked Monday-Friday overnight (17:00 to 08:00) and all day at the weekends, this is to restrict public vehicular access since the moorland fires.

I don’t think it is a bad thing if it restricts the BBQ brigade from setting fire to the moor again.  This use to be the arrangement at Winter Hill a few years back with a combination lock on both gates.

I have tried to get in contact with the UU Land Agent but at this point in time I am not sure when the lock is going on the gate, but I understand that any organisation that has an agreement with UU will be given the code to the lock.

Keep me posted if you find the gate locked or are challenged by the Arqiva TV Mast staff.

Andy Archer

PSC Sites Officer

07824 321574

Hen Harriers

By Brian Stewart on  June 13, 2019 17:31

RSPB have announced that there has been successful fledging of several hen harrier chicks in the Bowland Forest area. They request people stick to marked tracks in the area to avoid stressing these birds during the breeding season. Please be aware of this when flying in the area, and think carefully about landing out where you could disturb them.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-48607497#