I’ve left Swinside to be my 2nd last Marilyn and SOTA in all of England and Wales (G and GW). It appears this has turned into something of a mistake!!!
After almost 10 days of calling various numbers to get access to the summit I have now been given the following information from the current owners.
Foot access by walkers is now restricted to the month of March each year. Email to QUADTREKS@MAIL.COM to be added to a list for permission for the next slot. I was told they are very happy to accommodate walkers during that month. So the hill isn’t closed for access, just heavily restricted to 1 month.
The main reason given was concerns about disturbance and possible introduction of Bird Flu to the commercial Pheasant population.
They have recently added many more “private - keep out” and “CCTV in operation” signs all around the base of the hill - so it is very clear that you need permission to get in!
However, there is a way to access the summit… but it’s going to cost you!
They run Quad Bike treks, which pause at the summit for “10 to 15 minutes” to look at the view. These are currently £69.00.
Edit: These only run 1st March to 1st October
The route for the Quads is not open to walk and it is “carefully routed away from the areas where the birds are and the shoot”. I’m not getting into any discussion on why it’s OK on a petrol quad bike but not on foot… that’s the Landowners decision and they can do what they want.
So if you have deep pockets you can get up there.
I’ve planned my final summit to be G/LD-044, High Rigg, on Thursday, so I’m just going to have to stump up the cash, or put my plans on hold for over six months!
So tomorrow I’ll be on a Quad Trek with a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave whip and I am now pleading for someone (at least one) person to be available to speak to me on 2m FM from the summit so I can at least activate it (even if I don’t get 4 contacts to get the 1 point available). I wanted to walk up, I try to walk a bit of the way up summits with vehicle access, but some are literally “drive on” like a few I’ve done lately in Germany and France, so I’ve no personal qualms about using a quad to reach a summit I could walk up in 15 minutes.
Anyway… I’m sure it will be fun and a new way to activate a hill (always look on the bright side of life…)