Activity 2014-05-23 – GFF-101

Holt Heath NNR

Background

Holt Heath NNR

Holt Heath NNR

A morning of EMC testing in Three Legged Cross gave me the opportunity to revisit the nearby Holt Heath NNR (GFF-101) which I had activated in 2011.

About Holt Heath NNR

Holt Heath - Heathland

Holt Heath – Heathland

Holt Heath NNR is owned by the National Trust, and is one of Dorset’s largest remaining areas of lowland heathland.  As well as being designated as a National Nature Reserve, it is also designated as a Special Conservation Area and as a Special Protection Area.

Dry heath, wet heath and mire communities are all represented at the site. Local plants include common heather, bell heather, cross-leaved heath, bog asphodel, sundews and marsh gentian.

Holt Heath - Woodland

Holt Heath – Woodland

Birds include large populations of Dartford warbler, stonechat and nightjar. The heath is Dorset’s only site for breeding curlew and all six of Britain’s reptile species are found here.

The reserve’s woodland is predominantly oak – many of which are magnificent old pollards – with some areas dominated by beech. Much of the lower layer is dense holly which has developed since grazing ceased on the site.

The Activation

Although I arrived in the vicinity ahead of my planned alert, my navigation let me down and I took some time to find the car park area!  I was QRV at 0620utc.

A scan of both 20m and 40m suggested that conditions were still poor – this was confirmed by the conditions predictor on DxSummit.

Starting on 40m

Starting at 0630utc, it took 23 minutes of calling to get my first contact – and only four more followed.  Surprisingly for the hour, two of these were inter-G (G8IYE and G3ZQQ).

Switching to 20m

At 0700utc I moved up to 20m… and while there was never a pile-up, a steady flow of 34 callers went in the log over the next half an hour, including EX8BN for my first ever Kyrgyzstan station into my log.

Back on 40m

With all callers having been logged, I moved back to 40m to try and improve the tally… but it was not to be, as only Sandro I0SSW was added to my score.

Summary

In total, 40 QSOs were made, from 16 DXCCs.  Thanks to all hunters!

Band QSOs Calls DXCCs
40m 6 6 4
20m 34 34 15
All 40 39 16

QSL?

My log will be uploaded to:

I am not planning a special QSL card for this activity; my normal 2E0GFF card will be used.  QSL via the bureau is preferred.

WAB Activity

Early Morning

Holt Heath NNR (GFF-101) is located within SU00 – no other WAB squares were activated.

Late Morning

Joining the WABnet at 1129bst, a fairly large net was present – although it was very apparent that many stations were unable to hear each other.

Also out mobile were Dave G0FVH (operating G4WAB) and Alan G7HZZ.

As has become the norm of late, conditions were very poor, with a lengthening skip.

The following squares were successfully activated, and contributed to my Sapphire Activity totals:  SU00, SZ09, SZ19, SU10, SU11, SU21, SU22, SU32, SU31, SU41, SU50 and SU60

Unfortunately, following a pit-stop the net had disappeared, so I continued my journey accompanied by Radio 4.

Late Afternoon

Having arrived at my destination in TQ15, I was able to hear Ben DL7UCW on frequency, and made contact.

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