Secret Squirrel – Crouching Beaver

Hawley Lake has an airstrip – or at least it has a disused airstrip.

Two short runways cross on top of the hill. The history is a bit tricky to trace, but there are a few ideas around.

There is a thought that it was used for special operations with Lysander aircraft. This would make some sense, as the Lysander was superb for short field work.

Other talk says Beavers and various liason aircraft/helicopters used the strip to access Minley and/or Gibraltar Barracks (which have a certain hush-hush rumoury around them anyway).

Even Harrier and helicopter tests were thought to have been carried out here, to test sand damage and filters on desert based aircraft.

I don’t know the date of strip construction – which would be of some help – but until then, it’s a rumour of history. I do know that local airfields have been (and still are) used for secret squirrel operations.

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One response to “Secret Squirrel – Crouching Beaver

  • KAC


    I used to train here around 1983 and there was a tarmac strip on both runways, there was also a pillbox built into the end of one runways of the 1940 type, which may date the feature if its still there. where the runways meet, there were also hard-standings that had were over grown. Both runways were marked with ‘disused’ ‘x’ markings. All the runways and hard-standings appear to have been removed. I was told by a older guy form the then HSF, that he had trained there just before going to Aden with the Engineers.



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