COVID-19 Update   4-Jul-2020

This site is open as usual to full and temporary NDHPC Members, as well as reciprocal members.

Many thanks all the reciprocal rights pilots and visitors who have acted responsibly by staying away and enabled us to maintain the good relationships essential for the long term future of this site. Please note that the parking at the campsite is still not available but Marine Drive is now open. Please note: only 10 cars are permitted in the field (as normal).

We have reassured all our landowners that everyone flying will follow the BHPA guidelines – especially with regard to hygiene, not hanging about, not going into villages, etc.

So please follow these guidelines:


NDHPC Committee

Forecast Weather

Current Weather

This information comes from a weather station at the Woolacombe launch site. All pilots should assess weather conditions on the hill before making the decision to fly.

The two tables below show quarter hour and hourly averages. Click here to see the full range of data.

Wind Direction NW – WSW
Optimum direction WNW

 Download the site guide pdf.logo

Grid Reference: Sheet 180 Grid SS 458 426

Site Officer:    Sam Jeyes 07875 247 389
Chairman:  Ant Moore
07588 051478
Safety Officer:  TBC
Secretary: Jerry Bix 07967 303 981

In stronger winds Paraglider Pilots beware of the potential of your wing getting dragged towards the wall.  Note, the wall has barbed wire fence on either side!  Make sure you give yourself plenty of room!

Suitability: PG Club Pilot / HG Club Pilot.

Important: All pilots – members, visitors and members of reciprocal clubs – are expected to carry their BHPA and club membership cards with them whilst flying at Woolacombe.

Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead at all times.

Access and Parking
There are 10 car parking spaces allowed near take off along the wall near the trough on a first come first serve basis (P on map).

Hang glider pilots are allowed to drive over and drop their kit off when all spaces have been taken but must then remove the vehicle immediately and seek alternative parking. After you go through the first gate proceed through the second gate which has a tally system on it to display how many parking spaces are available. Flip one space as you go through and please stick to the track all the way. Please close all the gates behind you.  Do not park too close to the trough or livestock will not be able to use it.

There is a local commercial school that have a separate license which allows them to have 2 extra parking spaces bringing the total allowed spaces to 12. When their vehicles are on the hill they will be marked with the school’s Logo.

Alternative Parking
A nearby campsite behind Woolacombe allows us to park at very reasonable rates: £1 per vehicle which is donated to the Air Ambulance:
Little Roadway Farm,
Georgeham Road,
United Kingdom.
EX34 7HL

Or there is ample paid parking at Marine Drive just below take off.
See map for all locations and side notes in this guide.

Takeoff & Rigging Areas
Traditionally, Hang Glider Pilots normally rig through the gate and to the left (south) on the short grass.  However, Hang Glider and Paraglider Pilots may rig anywhere EXCEPT in the take off and landing strip area.

Please do NOT rig in the Upper or Lower Take off area. It is advised that PG pilots take off low down to avoid getting dragged if the wind is a little strong.

The takeoff area is in between the two red streamers on the posts next to the wind sock that marks a runway from there out to the sea. IT IS MANDATORY that this area is kept clear of obstruction at all times.  On busy days the take-off area will be marked with fluorescent cones on either side of the launch area. (see map).

There is an alternate lower launch area for HG and PG pilots. (L on map).

Top Landing
HG landing is anywhere behind the wall and safe from any obstacles. PG can land in front of the wall but please clear the take-off area as soon as you have landed. You can also land in the back field making sure you are a safe distance away from any of the walls and cars.

Bottom Landing
We try to keep bottom landing to a minimum but are allowed to land on the green to the right of takeoff and just in front of Marine Drive car park. If landing on the green just in front of Marine drive then be careful of rotor for the last 30ft in stronger winds.  We can land on the beach to the south of Mill Rock.

*No flying below 100ft is allowed to the north of Mill Rock.

*No landing to the north of Mill Rock unless an absolute emergency.

XC Potential
Great potential. Flights of over 100k have been achieved from here! If going XC then make sure you have significant height when flying over the wind turbines which are approximately 5kms downwind.  Ensure you are in a good climb to avoid landing out too close downwind of them in rotor.

There is a wall that runs the length of the takeoff field that has barbed wire either side of it. We advise all PG Pilots to take off low down the hill to avoid getting dragged onto it.

HG Pilots when landing in the back field it is recommended that you land at least 300 yards downwind of the wall to avoid any possible collision and rotor. There is a bowl in the landing field about 200 yards behind the wind sock that should be avoided. Anywhere behind that at the highest point is safe, smooth & level to land.

HG Landing in front of the wall is only for experienced pilots and not on busy days. For a coastal site thermals can be a little feisty at times nothing dangerous, but you just need to exercise caution.

If the search and rescue Helicopter repeatedly flies over and close to the site then a rescue is in progress and all pilots should land immediately. A large L will be displayed on takeoff and/ or a fog horn sounded but should this for some reason not happen all pilots must land anyway. Experienced pilots may fly the sand dunes if the wind is a bit too strong for the top of the hill. To reiterate, please do not fly below 100ft above the dunes to the north of Mill Rock. No taking off or landing is to take place anywhere to the north of Mill Rock either.

Woolacombe Downs and the local area is used regularly by Horse Riders. Please give them plenty of room, space and clearance as the horses can get easily spooked by Hang Gliders and Paragliders above them.

Acrobatic Manoeuvers
Acro, or radical manoeuvers are strictly prohibited if you are within 500 feet of any other person, in the air or on the ground. This is in accordance with the Air Navigation Order. Any manoeuvre which, if it went wrong and could contravene the above rule, is also prohibited. An example of this is: A deep spiral directly over other persons, but greater than 500 feet away, that, if it became unrecoverable could impact those below.

If you are intending to travel and fly at Woolacombe, please ensure you call the Low Flying Booking to register a CANP before 8pm the evening before.  0800 515 544.  There is a local Air Sea Rescue Helicopter that regularly covers this area so a CANP is mandatory.

Rules for keeping Take off Area Clear
On busy days when there are 5 or more pilots intending to launch, the club has a process for ensuring the take-off area is kept clear at all times.  A local club member will put down orange plastic bollards on the ground parallel on either side of the top take off area.  This is to ensure the area is kept clear at all times unless pilots are preparing to launch.  If you inadvertently land in this zone please move your equipment to one side immediately to ensure it is kept clear for those wishing to take off.  If a club member is not present, the orange bollards are kept in the windsock box next to the top wall.  Bollards are set-out using the white pole markers that are on the fence and are lined up going down the hill in an East-West direction accordingly.  Please see picture below for guidance.