In 2019 I wrote about RAYNET, the Radio Amateurs Emergency Network, it was before the era of the 366. I didn’t go for a walk this morning, I overslept. I was trawling through my pictures looking for one that I could use for tonight’s post.
One of the events that the South East Hampshire Group has regularly been involved in is the Butser Hill Challenge. https://racebest.com/races/h7ue2. Members of RAYNET are stationed at various points along the course.
Butser Hill is both a site of special scientific interest, a nature reserve (understandably in the context of the SSSI), part of the South Downs National Park and part of the South Downs Way. The hill is 271m or 889 feet high.
As you drive along the A3, in any direction, the hill is very prominent. I can remember the first time I saw it. I thought to myself “I want to be on that hill, right at the top”. It was one of those things that you always intend to do, but never get round to (like visiting the home of the hellfire club which I lived very near to for two years, and drove past a fair bit after that – but that’s another story). Anyhow, I joined RAYNET.
With RAYNET, you become involved in public events, like the Butser Hill Challenge. This it turned out was to be the first event that I was to be involved in as a member. In fact whilst I wasn’t right at the top, we had to go past the wireless station at the top to reach our point slightly below the peak on the northern side, with a truly amazing view.
The cows? I was on my own at the 2018 event, by then I had done several RAYNET events, and was a bit of a “veteran”. We had come through the gates at the top, I drove to my observation point and was promptly surrounded by these beasties. The spent some time nosing around and licking the salt off the car and then wandered away just in time for me to get set up for the event. I always smile when I see this picture.