Category - Blog

GFF-014 Peak District National Park







The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire.
Most of the area falls within the Peak District National Park, whose designation in 1951 made it the first national park in the British Isles. An area of great diversity, it is conventionally split into the northern Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and whose geology is gritstone, and the southern White Peak, where most of the population lives and where the geology is mainly limestone-based. River_DerwentProximity to the major cities of Manchester and Sheffield and the counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Staffordshire coupled with easy access by road and rail, have all contributed to its popularity. With an estimated 22 million visitors per year, the Peak District is thought to be the second most-visited national park in the world (after the Mount Fuji National Park in Japan).

The Peak District forms the southern end of the Pennines and much of the area is uplands above 1,000 feet (300 m), with a high point at Crowden Head on Kinder Scout of 2,070 feet (630 m). Despite its name, the landscape lacks sharp peaks, being characterised by rounded hills and gritstone escarpments (the “edges”). The area is surrounded by major conurbations, including Huddersfield, Manchester, Sheffield, Derby and Stoke-on-Trent. LancasterRearCloserHowden Dam is of solid masonry construction, and 117 ft (36 m) tall, 1080 ft long. and impounds 1.9 million gallons of water, from a catchment area of 5,155 acres (20.86 km2). During the Second World War the reservoir was used by pilots of the 617 Squadron for practising the low-level flights needed for Operation Chastise (commonly known as the “Dam Busters” raids), due to its similarity to the German dams. Occasional flypasts of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are staged to commemorate this (As shown in Photo).DamWallredThe National Park covers 555 square miles (1,440 km2) of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and South and West Yorkshire, including the majority of the area commonly referred to as the Peak. Its northern limits lie along the A62 road between Marsden and Meltham, north west of Oldham, while its southern most point is on the A52 road on the outskirts of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. The Park boundaries were drawn to exclude large built-up areas and industrial sites from the park; in particular, the town of Buxton and the adjacent quarries are located at the end of the Peak Dale corridor, surrounded on three sides by the Park.

The town of Bakewell and numerous villages are, however, included within the boundaries, as is much of the (non-industrial) west of Sheffield. As of 2009, it is the fourth largest National Park in England and Wales. In the UK, the ChurchSnowdesignation “National Park” means that there are planning restrictions to protect the area from inappropriate development and a Park Authority to look after it, but does not imply that the land is owned by the government, nor that it is uninhabited. Many of the rivers of the region are unpolluted and low enough in sediment levels to provide a home for the native white clawed crayfish. Ancient woodlands like these have much more wildlife value than plantations or other new woodland.  Rocks and scree slopes (formed by the effect of frost on the cliffs above) have developed specialised flora with mosses, lichens and flowers such as herb robert.  If movement stops, eventually screes become flower rich grasslands, or woodland, with a great variety redgrouse3of attractive flowers.  The flowers encourage a range of insects including butterflies and moths. Grasslands have been K800_wfflogomaintained by sheep grazing. The reduction in sheep grazing in some areas over the last 100 years has allowed scrub (shrubs such as hawthorn) and long grasses, to grow.The National Trust have cut back shrubs hiding the famous rock features and have re-introduced sheep grazing.
The cuckoo flower is common on the grassland.  This provides food for the caterpillars of the orange-tip butterfly.

Herons often feed in the quiet, northern stretches of the river. trout, dippers, grey wagtails, moorhens and water voles can be seen in, on and by the river. The boggiest areas are marked by the bright green sphagnum moss, together with cottongrass and heathers. Look carefully and you may spot the distinctive (yellow) flowers of the bog asphodel or the more common sundew, an insectivorous plant. The conspicuous white tufts of cottongrass gives rise to the name ‘Featherbed Moss’, used to identify many other areas in the National Park. Drier areas support more woody plants including heather, bilberry and crowberry.

As with much of the British countryside, the spectacular heather moorlands are not naturally like that – they are largely due to the ‘sport’ of red grouse shooting. Red grouse require young shoots of heather upon which to feed plus older plants in which to nest.

The typical appearance IanIAAPeaksatisfies the needs of the red grouse and is created by controlled burning of the countryside. The red grouse is easily startled and its whirring chuckling flight also startles walkers usually when its not expected!

Thats it for now. I hope you enjoyed your trip into the Peak District National Park, please call again soon! (Photo : Ian M0IAA /p in GFF-014).



73 de Charles……

















                    Gino – ON3SSB






























































































































You will see on this page various events relating to weather in and around the UK. The first page ‘My Damage‘ is concerned with the big storm we had in 2007 which resulted in the loss of my small 2 element beam and a ‘mast’ (term used loosley!).
You can also see many more images relating to weather by clicking here on ‘Gallery‘.

Please call back in the future for more images and stories as the site develops.

Thanks, Charles

GFF-013 / GFF-172 Holy Island, Northumberland National Park



….also known as


K800_wfflogoBeyond Bamburgh, the tidal estuary-like mud flats of Budle Bay, is Holy Island, still often known by its more ancient name of Lindisfarne. It is only accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway, which can be reached from the village of Beal.To the south of the more modern road-surface causeway, a series of stakes mark the old route across to the island called the `Pilgrims Way’ which was used in ancient times by visitors to the great Christian centre of Lindisfarne.

This page contains brief details and photo’s of the trip to Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumberland National Park (from both 2008 and 2009) and is from the prospective of the World Flora Fauna programme. For a more detailed account of the trips then return to the sidebar Menu, select ‘My Dxpeditions’ and then ‘Holy Island’. Alternativly check out the ‘Gallery’ and you will also find photos on there in the near future – Thanks.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is where in Britain, both land and water meet. The Island can only be reached by vehicle or on foot via a 2.5 mile causeway, which is closed from 2 hours before high tide until 3 hours after at which times the Tide completely swamps the tarmacadam causeway. Tidal mudflats, sand dunes and marshes can be sean in Flatssmallabundance which combine to create a an area of outstanding beauty with many different plants and a home also to a food supply that attracts bird visitors from many of miles away. The NNR is managed by Natural England staff who work to ensure that the birds and plants of the area survive in harmony with the people who live in and those that visit the area in such large My_Buttnumbers daily. The site hosts up to 50,000 waterfowl and is very famous for the flock of light bellied brent geese as this is their only regular wintering place in Britain.  Other internationally important wildfowl and wintering birds that over-winter here include greylag and pink-footed goose, wigeon, grey plover and bar-tailed godwits who fly into the area every autumn.

In the dune ‘slacks’ (where the holes are mainly damp) rabbits perform a useful function in keeping the creeping willow well grazed and thus the eco-system works well here as also allowing the more rarer plants to establish. The site also has a wide range of marine habitats that are created by the varied geology of the rocky inter-tidal zone including, limestone and sandstone and volcanic rock.  This, combined with the interaction of the sea produces some unique habitats and species specific to the Northumberland.

The dune systems support a varying range of fauna including dark green fritillary, grayling and ringlet butterflies and rare moths. It has been discovered that most of the duneland of the Northumberland coast is relatively youngRinglet1 – having only developed during the last 200 – 300 years, however here on Lindisfarne NNR, older dunes based on glacial sands and clays exist, where Holy Island has an extensive range of dunes and dune grassland. Lindisfarne-Helleborine-05-BHere on the Northumberland coast, species to be found include burnet rose; seaside geranium; marsh helleborine; sea lavender; the county flower of Northumberland – the bloody cranesbill and the unique Lindisfarne helleborine.

The Northumberland Coast was designated as an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural beauty) in 1958 and covers over 39 miles of coast from the Coquet estuary in the south, to Berwick in the North.  The coastline is best known for it’s dramatic landscapes including long sandy beaches, rolling dunes, rocky cliffs and islands.  PICT0012This thin stretch of the landscape is never wider than 2.5km and less than 50m in width at it’s narrowest point, however it contains a huge variety of natural, historical and scenic interest.  The primary statutory purpose of the AONB is to enhance and conserve the natural beauty of the landscape.

As well as the AONB the area was rewarded also as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). SSSIs are the country’s very best wildlife and geological sites. They include some of our Country’s most spectacular and beautiful habitats. As well as the extensive inter-tidal sand and mudflats it also supports internationally important wintering populations of waders and wildfowl.

I visit the island now at least once each Year and its great to be able to operate from there amongst the Flora Fauna. Even during the daytime despite the hundreds of visitors, the area still remains very quiet and solitude found easily. In the evening time when the public and Ice Cream seller have left, with only the Islanders and the radio team are left, then it beats a holiday on the Continent for sure – England at its best!

(tnx to Richard Constantine G3UGF for some of the images)


Thats it for now, hope you enjoyed your visit to GFF-013 & GFF-172,

Holy Island (Lindisfarne) in the Northumberland National Park, both located in Northern England?

Please join me again soon,



73 de Charles…



Welcome to my new Site!


Hi to all and thanks for viewing my new and improved website. It’s taken a lot of work to prepare this and having been nagged over the last few years to produce a ‘proper website’ then I hope this meets your requirements! I must say a big thanks to the guys for the help: Oliver MW0JRX, Tim M0URX and Anthony MW0JZE who have worked tirelessly to make this event a reality.

For those of you visiting my site for the first time, please check out the Menu to the left and also the sub-menu’s within the main categories for loads of stuff mainly Amateur Radio orientated but not always! About me personally – well i am approaching the ‘big 50’ pretty soon and i am already retired, somewhat earlier than anticipated. I served 22 years as a South Yorkshire Police Officer before finishing through a serious back injury. I spend my time at home now enjoying this hobby to the max (and more according to my Wife!) and loving every minute. Within the hobby I am very active on the HF Bands and within my intrests are various programmes i enjoy. I am a representative for WFF World Flora Fauna and the founder member of the ‘UK & Ireland Flora Fauna‘ Group. K800_wfflogoThis is very interesting to me and allows me to become portable now and again from Nature Reserves and National Parks within the UK as an ‘activator’. I also enjoy the ‘chase’ too and seem to be doing OK with several of the Awards available claimed, the UK & Ireland Flora Fauna (GFF) Award being the latest.I also enjoy the activities of the DCI (Italian Castles Award), Lighthouse chasing and also IOTA which is my main passion. I enjoy the odd Contest too working under various groups such as the SCC (Strictly Contest Club), SRT (Strange Radio Team), the OCC (OXO Contest Club) and of course as M0OXO_2mentioned above MC0SHL (Strumble Head Contest & DX Group). I find that being a Member of several teams allows diversity and when one group doesn’t offer the interests of one particular goal then another more than likely will! A lot more information about these items can be find if you have a browse through the new site which i hope you find of interest.

Also keeping me busy at home these days is being the UK (anywhere really!) representative for Gennady at ‘UX5UO Qsl Card Printing’. Again this is another topic that you will find on the sidebar Menu of the new website. If you are looking for competitive Qsl Card prices feel free to contact me for samples without any obligation whatsoever.

This new site will offer many of the old pages in a newer format plus a lot of new stuff such as a ‘Log Search’ facility (for any of the Call signs I have used) and also a ‘QSL Request Form’ which should simplify matters rather than receiving an odd email usually without all relevant details. Also included will the DXpedition pages showing my Island activities around the UK with Ramsey Island, Wales being the most recent trip undertakenK800_OXO_Sign

The ‘Log Search’ facility that I touched on earlier will also be an added bonus on this site. Eventually I will have a full list of the call signs I use (or have used in the past) from various events and activities and all will be uploaded to Log Search. Once a call sign is entered it will search each and every Log within the system and give an immediate readout of all the stations you have worked with all the relevant band and mode data, a very useful tool for you for sure. It will also include logs for all the stations I manage too. This however will only be as up to date as the frequency that the logs have been sent to me by the managed stations.

Anyway there we go, nothing more to be said except again a big thanks to the lads at MC0SHL for their efforts and of course you, for taking the time to call in and view the new site. Many of the features listed may not immediately show much as it will take several months to get up to date so please be patient and allow a bit extra time for me to work on the site.

I hope everything will meet your approval so please don’t be shy and remember, sign the Guestbook, your comments are very much appreciated and welcome!

Thanks and kindest regards,

Charles MØOXO