Southdown Gliding Club welcomes responsible walkers and your dogs.
At Southdown Gliding Club (SGC), we welcome walkers and their dogs. As an operational airfield, we have a duty to maintain a safe environment for us all to enjoy and so we thought it would be helpful to share some important information and guidance.
We respectfully remind walkers that they MUST keep to the designated footpaths, preferably with dogs on a lead at all times. However, for the safety and protection of both dogs and our pilots, we MUST insist that dogs are kept on the lead while walking along the Western side of the airfield (where the Windsock is). No matter how well behaved your dog is, we have seen time and time again, a dog chasing after a launching glider or tow cable, or other distraction – sometimes into the path of a landing aircraft.
The Gliding Club field is privately owned by SGC. As such, public access is restricted unless permission is granted to come onto the field. We absolutely respect the rights of way of all walkers which is why we work very hard to maintain the condition of the footpaths that are under our ownership and control, many areas of which we have improved so that they are in excess of the mandated 1m wide requirement.
It is important to note that as an operational airfield, SGC are under the governance of the Air Navigation Order Part 10, Chapter 1 Articles 240/241, (just as other operational airfields such as Shoreham Airport and Gatwick Airport are), and that under this Government legislation, it is a criminal offence to endanger an aircraft, person or property at the airfield. We have been erecting signage at various points of the public footpath to help walkers with understanding where it is safe to be.
The below aerial view of the SGC field illustrates where the public footpaths are. Please be aware that there is no public right of way via the main driveway entrance to the gliding club. Access to the public footpaths at SGC are from the Storrington to Pulborough Road, to the West of the main club entrance (not shown on the photograph below), and from the North East side of the field perimeter.