Our Outdoor Flying Sites
RESOURCES: OS Map Google Map
SMAC has secured an agreement with the Owner of Leisure Lakes so as to enable it to utilise a field within the site for the purposes of flying model aircraft. Mereside Model Club has helped enormously in making this development come about.
The track that leads to the flying field may be muddy at times. If motocross is taking place, please proceed with care to the flying field; it can get busy near the motocross pits area.
Alan R has been cutting the grass on a regular basis, and would appreciate some help if possible please.
Given the proximity to the motocross course, it has been determined that pilots will stand on the north side of the field and face towards the south (i.e. towards the Sun). A flight-line 'box' has been mown accordingly (please park on the longer grass around the 'box'). In sunny conditions care will have to be taken when flying.
Powered paragliding (paramotor) fliers from the nearby club are not permitted to use our field (except strictly in emergency only). If any of these fliers approach any member of SMAC/Mereside Model Club seeking permission to use/share our flying field, they should be politely refused.
Leisure Lakes is situated about four miles to the east of Churchtown, which in turn is situated at the north end of Southport. The closest village is Mere Brow.
Accessing the Flying Field
Enter the Leisure Lakes site via an entrance road off the north-western end of the B5246 (known as The Gravel at this point).
The B5246 can be accessed either off the A565 (Southport New Road) via a roundabout (signposted), or off the A59 (Causeway Lane/Liverpool Road) at Rufford. At this point, the B5246 is known as Holmeswood Road.
Once on the Leisure Lakes site, drive to the main entrance. Please have to hand your current BMFA and SMAC membership cards so as to gain entry. Once past the entrance, continue straight ahead down the driveway. You will come to an offset roundabout that you should drive straight through. Next you will do a slight left right s-bend and continue straight ahead through a yellow gate. The yellow gate will be locked at night. Please see the Members Page for details of what to do if you get locked in. Continue straight on between the two main lakes and beyond. Facing you will be a gate fitted with a chain and combination lock. Pass through and lock the gate behind you. If you have forgotten the combination or it has been changed please Login to our members area for the latest combination. Eventually the driveway becomes a track that will lead you to the flying field.
When using Leisure Lakes, be very careful; DO NOT OVER-FLY THE BIKE CLUB MEMBERS who are at the end of the runway - we don’t want any accidents.
Remember, at all times, SAFE FLYING IS NO ACCIDENT!
All members visiting the site MUST have their current BMFA and SMAC membership cards on them and be prepared to show same to Leisure Lake and Club officials on demand.
Please note that only fixed wing and scale helicopters will be permitted at Leisure Lakes. Sport and 3-D helicopters will not be permitted. 3-D flying of helicopters at Leisure Lakes is strictly prohibited. Scale helicopter operations must not interfere with fixed-wing flying, and must be carried out in co-operation with fixed-wing operations. Scale helicopter operations can consist of hovering off the fixed-wing flight line, and/or 'circuit' flying with fixed-wing aircraft.
3-D fixed-wing operation is permitted, but this must not interfere with other fixed-wing operations and must be carried out in co-operation with non-3-D flying.
Find out who's planning to fly:
The following photographs will give you some idea of the aproach to Leisure Lakes and the flying site. They will be updated as and when required.
View from Google Maps showing route through Leisure Lakes from road to flying field
The turn-in towards Leisure Lakes from The Gravel
The driveway towards the entrance proper at Leisure Lakes
The main entrance office at Leisure Lakes at the end of the long straight drive
View towards the flying site down the lane between the two main lakes
View towards the flying site further down the lane that runs between the two main lakes
Track turns right after lakes
Continuation of the track from the first bend towards flying field
Entrance onto the flying field
View of the pit area
Another view of the pit area
View down the flight line from the south east
View north across the runway area
View of the pit area from the north west end of the runway area
View from the north west end of the flight line
Final view from the pit area looking south
Follow this link for the latest satellite GoogleMap view of the site - MAP VIEW. The flying site is towards the bottom of the image, in the centre.
PLEASE READ, TAKE NOTICE OF, AND ABIDE BY THE FOLLOWING RULES
PLEASE ENSURE YOU ARE AWARE OF BOTH THE SUMMER & THE WINTER MONTHS RULES
PLEASE FLY ADJACENT TO THE SMAC SIGN AT THE END OF THE OLD CAR PARK
OTHER RESTRICTIONS APPLY SO MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL OF THIS PAGE
RESOURCE: Southport Tide Times
The following rules have been developed by Sefton Council in consultation with Southport Model Aero Club to ensure the health, safety and well being of all beach users.
1. Observe all CAA (e.g. cap 658), BMFA, SMAC guidelines, codes of conduct and Sefton Council byelaws.
2. Sefton Council has identified an Aero Zone at Ainsdale [see below] for the use of flying model aircraft.No other part of the Sefton foreshore owned by Sefton Council or by other agencies in the Sefton Coast Partnership can be used for this activity.
3. Any vehicle parking outside the [public] beach car parking area at the Ainsdale Aero Zone will be required to display a valid vehicle permit in the windscreen. Details and permits available from the Coast and Countryside Service (vehicle and aero insurance / membership details will be required) [See notes below].
4. Vehicular access to and from the Ainsdale Aero Zone is via Shore Road at Ainsdale only.
5. Aero Zone users must take note of the public, fishermen’s access, horse riding and other activities and must give way to all other beach users at all times.
6. There will be no flying on days when tides of 8.6m or greater are predicted. This applies during both the Winter and Summer (i.e. all year round).(Southport Tidal Times & Heights here)
7. During the Winter (October to March inclusive), pilots will only use the Ainsdale Aero Zone for two hours either side of low water (please see Southport Tide Times resource above). This will help to prevent disturbance to the flocks of roosting shorebirds. A further 15 minutes either side of the flying period is permitted for setting-up and packing away model aircraft. The 'two hours either side of low water' rule does not apply during the Summer period.
8. The Aero Zone may be closed due to other events taking place (SMAC will be informed).
9. No flying over any part of the sand dunes or the green beach to the seaward of the sand dunes.
10. The maximum number of aircraft permitted to fly in the Aero Zone at any one time is five.
11. All Aircraft powered by piston engines must be fitted with mufflers.
12. No pyrotechnics of any kind are permitted.
13. No jet (gas turbine), pulsejet or rocket powered models to be flown.
14. Dangerous flying will not be tolerated. Any dangerous flying will result in the offender being asked to immediately leave the Aero Zone and be subject to the SMAC misconduct procedure.
15. Flying model aircraft outside of the Aero Zone or outside the designated time frames related to tidal activity and the gathering of flocks of shorebirds, will result in that person being asked to immediately leave the site and be subject to the SMAC misconduct procedure. Prosecution for disturbing flocks of shorebirds birds within the Ribble and Alt Estuaries Special Protection Area may also be considered by Sefton Council.
16. Only set up model aircraft within the Aero Zone. The first club member arriving will initiate the parking arrangement. Further members arriving must park parallel and immediately adjacent to him.
17. No persons under the age of 18 years to use the Aero Zone without a responsible adult in attendance.
18. Users under the age of 18 will adhere to the same rules as all other users.
19. All model aircraft users must assess the risks and hazards prior to each flight. Consider wind speed and direction, weather conditions and other beach users; the user must have a continuous awareness of the tides and their own level of skill and must follow all regulations at all times.
20. Have an emergency action plan for yourself and others.
21. These rules may be amended from time to time.
22. Permission must be sought for special events via the Coast and Countryside Service. SMAC will comply with all legal and safety requirements necessary.
23. Visitors may fly at the invitation of members, but they must have valid third party insurance through current BMFA membership.
Failure to adhere to the above rules may result in the removal of permission for SMAC members and guests to use the Aero Zone
These rules are underpinned by Sefton Council’s Seashore byelaws and by the byelaws for Ainsdale and Birkdale Local Nature Reserve.
Permits to park outside the public car parks at the beach aero zone
All areas of the beach outside the public car parks are designated 'No Vehicle Zones'. This includes the Aero Zone. In order for vehicles to be driven to the Aero Zone, a permit must be obtained. This rule applies to both SMAC members and their guests if they wish to take their vehicles into the No Vehicle Zone.
In order to obtain a permit to enter the No Vehicle Zone, you must make an appointment to see Gill Burcombe (tel. 0151 934 2967) at Sefton Council's Ainsdale Office (please do not simply turn up without an appointment since it takes time to prepare a permit). Appointments can be arranged for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday. You must take your valid vehicle insurance details (schedule and certificate), your BMFA insurance certificate and your SMAC club membership card. A vehicle permit will then be issued. This will remain valid until the vehicle insurance expires, at which point you will need to renew your permit. There is no charge for a vehicle permit.
In the winter the beach is closed to the general public's vehicles. However Club Members will receive a key along with their permit that will allow access past the gates. The above rules remain in place even when the beach is closed to the general public's vehicles. Please remember that pedestrians will still be on the beach.
Ainsdale Aero Zone (Shore Road entrance) details
RESOURCES: OS Map Google Map
Vehicles (permit holders only) should approach the site only via the Shore Road beach car park and entrance (no attempt must be made to approach the flying site from any other beach entrance). Turn right once in the beach car park, exit the car park boundary via the smaller seaward enclosure towards its northerly end, and then proceed in a northerly direction (i.e. towards Southport) by driving on the beach, parallel to the old car park and sand dunes, just seaward of the green beach between the dunes and sand. Continue alongside what was the old car park until you reach its end, where the SMAC sign is displayed. Once there, drive out away from the green beach towards the sea until you are a reasonable distance from the sand dunes and on firm sand suitable for flying from, and then park. Always be on the look out for areas of soft wet or dry sand and take care entering standing water; if in doubt, don't proceed.
Model helicopters at the beach Aero Zone
Only scale helicopters will be permitted on the beach. Sport and 3-D helicopters will not be permitted. 3-D flying of helicopters on the beach is strictly prohibited. Scale helicopter operations must not interfere with fixed-wing flying, and must be carried out in co-operation with fixed-wing operations. Scale helicopter operations can consist of hovering off the fixed-wing flight line, and/or 'circuit' flying with fixed-wing aircraft.
Visiting members of the public
We welcome visiting members of the public, but do remember that only permit holders may drive to the flying site from the public car parks, so please walk to where we are situated. Visitors should bear in mind the fact that all model aircraft are potentially dangerous, so should ensure that children are properly supervised. Dogs should be kept on a lead in the operational area for both their own safety and that of the model aircraft. At all times when model aircraft are being flown there will be a runway area. This will normally be parallel to the row of parked cars. As you approach the flying site, please try to determine where aircraft are taking off and landing, and, for your own safety and our assistance, avoid loitering in this area.