View Full Version : Re Hawley / Starve Acre

20th Sep 2002, 18:26
Hi All

The following message was posted to another aviation forum.
Can anyone help. The grid ref. is SU845590 or Long/Lat N5119-W00047

Regards Martin Burney

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a small airstrip on the Army heathland about 2 miles east of Blackbushe.( Only lived in the area for 20 years!!!}
L shape runway configuration - e-w runway still intact and about 1200ft. At its western end another shorter runway at right angles going south but stripped of tarmac- in heaps at the end.
Can't find any local info in libraries etc.
Ordnance survey shows it and probably called Starve Hill or Starve Acre. May have last been used by Army to test sand filters just prior to Desert Storm.
Just personal curiosity - anyone know when set up and what usage??
Photos could be provided for anyone wanting that sort of documentation.

Tony Hyatt
Sandhurst, Berks

20th Sep 2002, 18:36
Hi Martin. I am sending a copy of this to the Aviation History and Nostalga forum. Maybe one of the old boys in there might know something about it. Good luck. :)

Spiney Norman
21st Sep 2002, 08:55
Very interesting!
Don't know anything about this one but it's not the usual configuration for an AAC strip. They usually have a single runway but the length of runway you mention is very similar. (Nesscliffe for instance has 381m and Sennybridge a slightly shorter 305m). I presume the strip can still be seen but is not in use? I'll see what I can find out but am not too confident of a positive result!


Spiney Norman
21st Sep 2002, 10:28
Well, there's a thing. It appears to be on the 1:25000 OS Map. If I'm looking at the right location it has two runways approx 26/08 which is still very visible, and a much more overgrown 13/31. The site being just to the N of the 100m spot height near Hawley Hill. The bad news is I can't find anything at all about this. It's very unusual for an Army strip to have a hard surface and this initially led me to wonder about wether it might have been a Dummy location but it's really much too close to congested areas that would have existed in the WW2 period and some pretty important Army targets also. As there appears to be no active records of the site my best guess is that it does have some Army connection being, as it is, close to Sandhurst and Bagshot. I'd suggest an email to the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop who have a large number of documents in their archives. Their email address is [email protected] I'll continue looking after getting back from work but I'm getting close to the end of my research info.


21st Sep 2002, 16:05
I know a man who'll know - will post when a get a reply.

For info, here's the Multimap Link:


23rd Sep 2002, 12:20
"When I was a kid the Army used to use the strip occassionally with DHC Beaver aircraft and approximately once a year a Harrier would land there I presume to show off to the new recruits of REME at Gibraltar Barracks."

It's not been used in years but was the haunt of the Beaver then! These days it's just for the REME only, with no flying, just tanks and building.

Hope this is useful!

24th Sep 2002, 23:46
I visited the site in late 1960s...both runways "intact" but in poor condition.
Power lines o/head main runway would have made fixed-wing ops somewhat hazardous!
I spent many hours during my time in AIS loking for info on the site, but to no avail.
Local sources suggested Lysander ops took place from there. but not confirmed.
I await further info with interest.

29th Dec 2002, 18:14
Sorry, have been out of UK and only just seen this one. Have lived 20+ years nearby and am not aware of any use by fixed wing - tho if I got engine failure in circuit at Blackbushe it might get a visit ! Only ever seen it used by mil helicopters and very rarely at that. Last time about 3/4 years ago when the runway was stengthened tempo by steel mesh. The white Xs have mostly weathered away now and the surface is more lose gravel than hard. Also the surrounding trees are now markedly higher than when I first came across it. Not a beginners strip therefore ! I believe a recent 1/500000 chart had it marked but it has not been repeated.

2nd Jan 2003, 04:40
Hmmm...I remember coming across it back in the early 60s when I used to live at nearby Minley Manor. Completely forgotten about it until I saw this post.

5th Jan 2003, 11:30
I seem to recall Beavers, Auster AOP9s and Allouettes using it in the sixties. Most probably a connection to both Gib Barracks AND Minley Manor, the latter always seemed to be a bit spooky (skunk worksy)....for those not in the know.