Last year I completed activating all of the Welsh summits, but for GW/MW032-Upper Park.
I decided to write a carefully worded letter to ask permission and offer a substantial sum for the privilege of activating from Upper Park, it is after all running a business there.
Today I received this reply. (Edited version)
“ We get multiple, similar requests each year. To be fair to everyone we endeavour to be consistent in our response. I regret therefore that it will not be possible to accede to your request. This is no way intended to discriminate against your good self but is more to do with consistency. I hope you understand.”
Its clear this one is unavailable for the foreseeable.
Hope this letter helps other potential activators.
Except they did grant permission on one other occasion as someone has such a letter.
This situation is no different than in many countries which do not have “right to roam” or such legislation. In the UK and specifically Scotland we are very lucky that we can go just about anywhere we like. There are some restrictions but they reasonable in general.
In this case, it’s private and the owner does have issues with anyone accessing the land. SOTA rules say you must have permission from the landowner. So you can assume that people who did this where ignorant of the fact the landowner specifically refuses permission or they didn’t ask. Of course those who have asked and been told “no” now find themselves in the very tricky position that they know they need permission and that the permission is not likely to be forthcoming. A position possibly best described as snookering themselves.
I think it would be exceptionally difficult for me or Tom M1EYP, for example, to claim that we did know permission was needed and we did not know that it is unlikely to be given when you consider our positions on the MT and the fact we have written about this summit and access. But I don’t think anyone who took part in that thread has activated it since the thread was active without permission.
I don’t like the situation in England. I think the Scottish position is better, land which is obviously a garden/close to house is excluded from the “right to roam” but mostly elsewhere is open. There are limits in Scotland but that is normally because hunting is taking place and people in the wrong place will disturb the prey and/or may get shot by accident.
The land here at Upper Park remains private and the landowner is within his rights to limit access. The MT is asked on a regular basis to delete summits from associations because access is forbidden. Our view is that access rights come and go and today’s restrictions become tomorrow’s freedoms so associations should list summits which qualify for inclusion whether you can activate them or not.
My personal view (not necessarily official view) is I ignore this summit from claims because permission is effectively never given for this summit to be activated.
The Summit List on SotaWatch indicates that this summit has been activated 8 times. Two activations were as recently as August 2014.
If it is known that access is prohibited (“consistently”, according to the landowner), would it not be sensible to append a note to that effect to the SotaWatch summit details for GW/MW-032 so that people will not waste their time attempting to activate it?
Presumably the activations shown are invalid both for activators and chasers IF prior permission was not obtained.
Even G/SP-001 (amongst many others) was off limits until 1932 when a certain Benny Rothman plus friends committed the mass trespass to give us the freedoms (albeit limited) to roam around the hills that we now enjoy.
Spot on Steve. You never know what the future has in store. I am certainly hoping that the situation regarding obtaining access permission changes sometime within the next 30 years.
Regarding past activations, I can only assume that access was above board as I have no evidence to suggest otherwise. I know that John GW4BVE got permission on the day, as did Mike 2E0YYY and Dave M0TUB. I presume the others were likewise.
It’s certainly the nearest unactivated summit to me nowadays, but nonetheless still a fair old drive to gamble on getting permission on the ground on the day.
No. The number of activations of this summit is evidence of that.
It is up to individuals to conduct their own research and establish their own permissions on behalf of themselves in those thankfully rare situations. The situation regarding access to a particular summit can and probably will change over time, so our lists are simply the correct lists of summits that meet the objective criteria based on prominence.
In section 3.7 of the General Rules it says “All expeditions must use legitimate access routes and comply with any local rules regarding use of the land. In particular, Activators must ensure that they have any necessary permission to operate from their chosen summit.”
The onus is on the Activator to establish if permission is necessary and to gain that permission. Since SOTA currently lists 67,125 summits it is expecting too much to have the MT and the AMs give full access data for each summit, but this is where the participants come into the picture. Each summit page has a section headed “Resources” where activators can post links to information about the summit and activations. This facility is well used by the G and GW Associations but some other Associations make little use of it. We need to encourage a culture of providing these Resources.
In the end, though, it is up to Activators to do their research before setting out on an activation.
There are some well-known summits where it is not at all clear whether prior permission is required or not.
For example Long Mynd - Pole Bank (G/WB-005) is under the custody of the National Trust, but I have no idea whether or not it is necessary to get prior permission to operate /P from there. There are recorded instances of activators being “seen off” by the National Trust Warden on the grounds of “You can’t put up a mast here”, or such-like.
A similar situation seems to exist at Great Orme (GW/NW-070). A member of the MT has actually posted contact details for the Warden in the Resources section for this summit. Does this signify that permission must be sought prior to each activation, or not?
And then there is Leith Hill (G/SE-002) … where opinion seems to be divided on whether NT permission is necessary. A member of a local radio club has even posted here claiming that members of his Club are the only people who have the right to operate from this hill!
No and no and no are the answers to your questions.
However, the NT is within its right to ask you to clear off. Some people have been told to clear off by the wardens and others have been allowed to stay. I can add 2 and 2 together and get 5 just like everyone else but I’d hazard a guess the people told to leave had a substantial antenna arrangement in place and were setup for quite some time.
A low key activation away from where the general public are likely to gather on a summit is unlikely to cause a problem.
No unauthorised person shall pitch, erect or permit to remain on Trust Property any tent, booth, windbreak, POLE, clothes-line, building, shed, post, fence, railing or other erection or obstruction whatsoever.
Although aimed at camping, this clearly means that permission is needed to erect a mast or use a bivvy bag, the clothes-line provision could be taken by extension to apply to any horizontal wire.
Then there is this:
15(b) (No person shall) In the open air on Trust Property, after having been required to desist by any person on Trust Property who is disturbed by the sound of the instrument operate or cause or suffer to be operated any WIRELESS SET, television set, tape recorder, gramophone, amplifier or similar instrument, or operate or play upon any noisy or musical instrument.
So use headphones - simples!
Any Trust Officer may remove from Trust Property:
(b) Any structure for the time being erected on Trust Property in contravention of these Byelaws;
There is no actual mention of the use of transmitters as such, so you just look for the Byelaws that apply tangentially.