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Avalon - Glastonbury tor and the Levels


Guest francis777
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Flight yesterday evening:-

Really clear air again.

Glastonbury tor from 4 grand

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The levels are now flooded just like in King Arthur's day

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Westward: The Bristol Channel

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Thanks for posting these Francis. I love this area and am a regular visitor. Be it for nature photography or visiting many clients like the Middlemoor Water Park

I was on the levels today and quite surprised to see how flooded they still are.

Wouldn't have been much good for flying this afternoon though. That wind was hitting 40knotts+

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I think its a conservation policy, they have raised the water level and dont pump out so much. When I was farming here in the 80s the pumps were always running and the peat workings were all dry. Now they dont dig so much peat they have let the land return to wetland.

I Middle moor the water sports park?, I think that was an old peat excavation?

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I don't know the history of the Middlemoor site, but looking at it you are almost certainly correct. :D

I designed the security camera system for them last year and as the site develops I have to keep calling back (That's what I tell my boss anyway) Great excuse to get some action shots of watersports while I wait for the owner to finish a lesson or something. :D:D

If it wasn't for the bleddy great string of pylons etc nearby it would make a pretty good flying site as well I think?

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Nice work if you can get it!

I think the patch of water in the last photo above (right hand side half way up) might even be Middlemoor. Its in the right sort of area. The Huntspill river is the main drain (running diagonally across the middle of the picture. It takes all the water pumped out of the "Rhynes" and is raised above the levels insides high banks. When it gets to the Channel it is pumped over the sea wall. In 1930 something there was a "great flood" and the sea level came up to nearly 20 feet above the level of the river! The whole of the last photo above would have been sea for a few days.

Since then they built up the defence at Burnham and have not had the sea in since.

The pylons come from Hinkley point (top left of last picture) A nuclear power plant. There is an exclusion zone (danger area) around that but the rest of the area is great for free flying. You need to phone whittering to notify if you fly midweek as this is Yeovilton North AIAA, although in reality most of the time there is very little activity. Some helicopters from RNAS Yeovilton and a few low hercules from fairford I guess?

The whole area is very flat with big pasture fields. Good take offs almost everywhere! There is also RAF Westonzoyland, a disused wartime fighter base built to defend bristol and south Wales I guess. There is a Microlight club there and they allow PPG to take off if you ask nicely! I expect there is a small fee.

That would be the easiest for visiting pilots to use as it has planning permission for flying activities.

The only other limitations are Bristol CTA to the North and another Danger area alonng the Channel (firing range I think). A quick look at your airmap will show you the relative freedom for flying this area presents.

It is known by Glider pilots as the "Bridgwater Gap" because it has little thermic activity between the Blackdown Hills and the Mendips. Flying XC across it is "challenging" to them, so if you dont like it bumpy this is a good place to fly, even on some thermic days!!!!

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