Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club located in the Hampshire South Downs



Also known as Wether Down.
An east facing ridge of approximately 1.25 kilometres with a bowl at the south end, shallowing to the north but soarable for its full length. An excellent thermal site but potential dulled by the proximity of restricted air space (Southampton CTA/CTR) only 2 miles downwind. Farm buildings to the north generate the house thermals. Good thermal days can be overcome by sea-breeze in mid-afternoon.

Link to pay Daily Fee – click here: Site fee


From A3(M), turn off west to Clanfield. At 1 mile, turn right past Rising Sun Pub. Follow signs to East Meon, approx. 3 miles, turn left at signpost to Warnford. Immediately past the Sustainability Centre, turn right into a farm track, follow for 500 metres to the gate (past twin radio masts).


Through last gate (beyond masts), in top field to left (north) of the gate and up against the fence. On occasions and only at the convenience of the Farmer, parking may be changed to the yard area immediately adjacent to the barns alongside the radio masts and accessed through that gate. Parking limited to 25 cars (HG+PG).

OS Map

Site OS Map Click to open


Location LAT/LNG

50.974114 / -1.038353

Grid Reference

SU 675 197 SHEET: 185

What 3 Words

truck rooting whirlwind

Wind Direction

045 to 100 degrees



225m (738ft)

Top To Bottom

91.4m (300ft)

Nearest Phone

East Meon village

Site Contact

Mr George Atkinson, Lower Farm, East Meon


Site Rules

  1. This is a strictly Members-only site, plus Reciprocals.
  2. At the farmer's request, a maximum of 25 cars (HG + PG) may be parked in the top field.
  3. A Daily Check with Lower Farm is required to confirm flying may proceed and determine if a bottom landing field is available; prior contact by email is preferable, or personal appearance at the Farm.
  4. This is CP + 10 hours for PG due to the complexities of flying with modellers on one side and HG on the other.
  5. A Daily Fee of £3.00 per pilot can be deposited as cash in the collection post by the entry gate; coins only please. It would be very helpful to simply Pay on the Day, not "credit" amounts in advance. An appropriate QR Code is located on the post for those wishing to pay electronically. See also the ABOUT section above for the SumUp link, which can be used for late payments.
  6. Site reverts to soaring only (CP+10hours) when no bottom landing available.


There have been some close encounters with the power lines in the top field. The slope will take only a little southerly wind component. Can be turbulent in strong winds partly due to the tree line immediately below the ridge and a funnel effect in the bowl.

PG must abide by the no inflating or kiting anywhere in front of take-off.

Space has to be left between the PG take-off and the aeromodellers in case a HG overshoots while top landing. The overshoot corridor must remain clear at all times, so all pilots should return and ‘cluster’ at the take-off areas. It is because of these constraints that Mercury is CP + 10 (i.e. NO RED RIBBONS)


From the shoulder of slope over the fence. Hang gliders (HG) from alongside the southern fence, paragliders (PG) a minimum 200 metres from the southern fence, to give separation from the HG launch area.


Bottom landing. When available, the main bottom landing fields are B1 and B2 immediately below take-off - do not assume these to be available but check first. In B1 a lump just before the road can create difficulty during the final glide for the unwary HG pilot, leaving him stalled over the road. For emergency use only - when bottom landing fields B1 and B2 are not available - the area immediately bordering the wheeled-track at the northern boundary of B2 may be used. Please land as close as possible to the track:
- Move on to the track itself as soon as possible, once you have landed
- HG should de-rig at the gate, by the road
- Do NOT land or de-rig in any other part of the fields

PG may be then restricted to slope landing at the front of the take-off, in which case beware of rotor from the tree line.

Top landing. Is straight forward and clean for PG; HG should normally set up an approach from the south to avoid the aeromodellers circuit at the north end of the ridge.


The bottom landing fields are subject to arable farming and may only be used when cut or ploughed and with the farmers express permission. Whitewool and Chalton offer good alternative sites for PG.

Consideration to the Modellers

The following agreement exists between the Meon Valley Soaring Association (MVSA) and the Sky Surfing Club to minimise points of conflict between the users of the hill, and to minimise the risks of mid-air collision with models when we are flying.
A corridor of priority airspace for models is designated by:

  1. A white marker mounted on top of the fence post, (this is only clearly visible from the air). This position is between our Southerly end of the ridge and the modellers launch point.
  2. The Northern boundary of this airspace is marked by the fence line beyond the modellers which is the Northern boundary of the field. HG and PG should avoid flying in this region.

Exceptions to this rule are :-

  1. HG and PG may transit the region to fly the ridge to the North, but this must be done in a clean, clear pass and at a height of not less than 150ft. ATO.
  2. HG can return below this height to avoid bottom landing in difficult circumstances. The condition being that the pilot must exercise the utmost caution and airmanship, in order to avoid collision between him/herself and models, or cause mid-airs between models.
  3. Climbing out in a thermal will not need to be terminated across this region if, the climb rate is good and the drift rate ensures a quick transit and clearance of the region. Thermalling in light airs, with slow drift is not acceptable in the region. The position of the marker is provisional and may be moved if necessary, dependant on mutual agreement.

A second (powered) aeromodel group, Petersfield Aero Modellers (PAM) have access to the adjoining field to the south of the barns. They have agreed not to operate when HG/PG are active.

Please abide by the rules and avoid flying in front of the modellers.
If you see other pilots doing so, please remind them of the guidelines.
The importance of regular dialogue with other hill users on the day cannot be over-emphasised!
It is the responsibility of everyone to maintain good relations with other hill users and the landowner.

Cross Counry

Mercury is a surprisingly difficult site to go XC from for a PG and with its HG-friendly top landing there is a lot of mixed traffic. It is essential to have a GPS and proximity alarm when flying here due to the airspace downwind.

Leaving the Hill

Thermals come up all over the hill, often quite far out front though so expect to need to push forwards. Be aware of the RC modellers and try to give plenty of space for mixed traffic.

First XCs

Mercury is limited by airspace, but is suitable for first XCs. Once you are away from the hill, head south down towards the corner of airspace or head back keeping under the airspace. Sadly it is quite low and there is a spur that you have to cross that is even lower.

For the more adventurous

Mercury is very limited due to downwind airspace.