Pole Bank G/wb-005 Nat trust bylaws

This afternoon I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Neil 2E0TDX and Karen 2E0XYL (complete with plaster cast!! Well done!!) on Pole Bank. Neil had put his antenna up on a short mast and was working away when the National trust warden drove up to us. He, politely, said to us that he had seen the antenna from the road and thought there was a vehicle there as well. He was pleasant but then he pointed out that actually due to the National Trust bylaws masts are not permitted on their land mainly due to insurance (or the lack of!!. The problem is Public Liability if the mast fell down. He did not tell Neil to take the mast down but Neil took it down anyway.

Hopefully other activators are already aware of this and if not are aware now!

As a member still of the Dorking and District Radio Society We have a license for the use of Leith Hill, G-SE-002 for field days etc. To get this the club had to prove it has public liability insurence.

The problem is a National Trust one.

Thanks to all the activators that were around today (even those with crutches!!)

South Shropshire

In reply to M5DND:
That’s a bizarre one Nick! I see my talk at Salop ARS has had a good effect by getting two members, both you and G6UYG on the hills this weekend!

I have activated from the WB-005 twice now and have never had any issues!

Good to hear that Karen is on the mend!

Matt 2E0XTL

In reply to 2E0XTL:

Some years ago I contacted Jo Burgon, National Trust Head of Access & Recreation. I explained exactly what SOTA was and how activations were carried out. He saw no problem in carrying out activations from their land provided it did not inconvenience anyone else, cause damage etc. Clearly one has to follow instructions given locally but I don’t believe the National Trust’s bylaws are designed (or intended) to preclude SOTA activations.



In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard,

Well, it surprised me as I know it has been activated a lot of times with no bother.
Having spent 38 years living in Surrey we were well used to the National Trust rules which were exactly what the warden said today. This is why the Dorking club had to prove their insurance.
In the past I have been asked to take down short masts in various area of Nat Trust land by wardens but until today thought it was a southern thing!!

It is not a SOTA activation issue but all radio operation that involves masts…


P.S. Matt, enjoyed the walk today and if I had seen where You were today I would have tried a 50mhz contact, perhaps next time!!

In reply to M5DND:

Hi Nik…Great to meet you today and many thanks for taking the time to pop over and see us both on Pole Bank today.

I think that the warden may have been a little bit miffed that there was no vehicle to go with the antenna at the trig point!

Good luck with the next Leith outing Nik, hope that it goes well for you all

ATB, Neil & Karen.

P.S. Matt, enjoyed the walk today and if I had seen where You were
today I would have tried a 50mhz contact, perhaps next time!!

No worries Nik, I did keep the Palstar 6m handheld switched on during my time on GW/MW-006, Alan G7RHF told me that you would be on but I’m afraid I heard nothing!

Matt 2E0XTL

In reply to M5DND:

The warden does a drive-past recce every evening along the roads, you were just unlucky with the timing. Weekends are a particularly sensitive time because of the number of visitors. The tip for avoiding the warden’s wrath on the Mynd is to operate away from the trig point with the antennas below the sky line when viewed from the road. There’s a handy post,well used by SOTA activators for fastening poles to down to the north west of the trig, just off the path.

Pete, M0COP

In reply to M0COP:

I am very surprised to hear of these difficulties. The last time I operated from the Long Mynd, I did actually operate from the trig point and I was approached by the National Trust Warden. Far from objecting to my mast and radio equipment, he asked if I was having good reception and wished me good luck with my SOTA activation!

In any case, (1) I am a National Trust member and (2) I have my own insurance for £1m public liability through ARIS, so I am well covered should the need ever arise.

So far as Leith Hill is concerned, as I have asserted before I do not believe the Dorking Club has exclusive permission to operate from there. I know of numerous SOTA activators who have successfully activated that summit in full view of the custodians at the tower and there has never been any problem reported … except when one activator asked if he could operate from the top of the tower and he was told, no, because they were just about to close for the day!

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:
Hi Walt,

To explain again, The Dorking club has not got exclusive rights to operate from leith hill but has a license to erect masts, operate field days,from the summit, and has keys to the gate which enables them to get cars, caravans etc to the summit. This does not stop SOTA activity. Thats a good idea also to have the insurence Walt.

I lived for 38 years of my life so far within 5 miles of leith hill and have been well used to the rules as I explained earlier by being asked to take down masts. One time even a 10ghz dish on a camera tripod!!

Yep, good suggestion, just a case of bad timing as you say!!

Neil & Karen,
As i Said, a real plesure to meet You both and look forward to working you both again…