SOTA: G/SE-001 (Walbury Hill)

My plan for this relativey mild January morning was to head west from the offince in Crawley towards Bristol and to nab a few activations on the way. For Saturday, my route took me to G/SE-001 (Walbury Hil), G/SC-008 (Win Green), and G/SC-010 (Dundry Down). These sites were chosen because they looked like they had reasonable parking for my rental car and would be relatively quick. After three years of living in Cyprus, where almost all the hills are either bare or support only scrub, it was a relief to activate hills that have trees large enough to support an antenna. For these summits, I just brought along my coiled up end-fed antenna, a string, and a plastic coke bottle half full of water — no poles.

The first site was Walbury Hill, which has a good size parking lot at 51.356339N 1.469907W.

If that were full, I think you could park on the side of the dirt road that leads up the hill to the west.

To get to the summit, take the dirt trail begins just to the south of the parking lot and continues east.

The coordinates for the summit are in the middle of a private field, but that area is flat and the activation zone includes the path. Between the path and that field, there is a fence with wooden posts, so it would be very easy to set up a telescoping pole here. However, near that fence there is also a decent sized tree and I had no difficulty slinging a line over a high branch to haul up my antenna.

This is the first tree you come to and is probably okay, but the one that I used is a bit further along the path and is flanked by some bushes at just the right distance to serve to support the feed end of the antenna. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of that one – my hands were pretty numb right after the activation.

The temperature was just below freezing, but it was sunny and there were a lot of walkers along the path, and a few were curious about what I was up to, so I gave a few demonstrations. Propogation was pretty good, but I also wasn’t sure how much time I had between driving and short winter days, so I worked 41 QSOs on 20m and 40m, then was back on the road.

Some sheep grazing on the hills to the side of the path.

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