Aloft at Greenham Common
Here is a handful of photographs shot from above using the DJI Mini 2 drone. Greenham Common is a fascinating reminder of what used to be; now a public common, with miles of footpath, not long ago it was a highly secure airbase, with a massive 2 mile runway, numerous ground buildings and 6 heavily reinforced GAMAs.

From the common, crossing Bury's Bank Road and about to cross the golf course. In the distance you can see the airbase water tower, and that's where we're headed.

Getting closer. In the distance, Newbury Racecourse.

We reach the tower. I don't know if it's still used for water storage, but it's certainly used for various antennae.

Down at ground level for a moment, here a couple of stills taken of the structure

One of many ponds and lakes on the common. I don't know who the guy is - may have been me?

The firemen's practice plane. A masive iron structure. At one time it was flooded with paraffin or diesel fuel and set alight, so they could practice putting it out. In the background a building whose purpose is unknown. It's sealed up tight. I call it the Bat Building because there used to be a sign saying don't disturb the bats, who live in it.

A pond. Currently completely dried up but you can see its extents in wetter weather.

Three kids and their bikes.

Modern buildings. In the background, what used to be the runway. Lower left is one of the original hardened and pretty bombproof structures; nowadays it's a super-secure network facility. In the big white building they make sauces.

At the left, the chlorination building. It was part of the water treatment facilities for water being extracted from an artesian well beneath. Top right is the fire plane.

Fire plane and bat building.

The six GAMA's - Ground Launched Cruise Missile bunkers. These sit behind triple-fencing, but are now apparently in private hands, together with the land. Nowadays cars are stored in the area, and various feature films have been shot there, including Star Wars.

Showing three gates in the triple-fencing.

Bury's Bank Road and two big lakes (ponds?)

Looking down into an abandoned and now derelict electricity substation.

At one end of the old runway sits this fenced-off area. Various rumours abound, but is it possibly where a nuclear weapon fell off a plane and caught fire? Somehow I doubt it, but purpose unknown. There are at least three similar fenced-off areas dotted about the common.

The central crossover on the runway. For some reason this wasn't torn up.



The original athletics field, now modernised and brought up to date and in frequent use.

Here's a view of both the athletics field and the big lakes. Top centre you can see the round pond - perfectly circular.

The big lakes. Fairly shallow and drying up when this image was taken, but in wetter times this looks completely different.

A high-level general view of most of the common. You can just spot the central crossover of the runway, which is roughly halfway along its length.

I call this the fenced lake, probably because it's neither a lake (more a pond) and it isn't completely fenced, there's just a fence on one side. Here, from the drone, in July, It's totally dried up.

But here is a still from a misty winter day, and you can see how high the water has become, following much recent rain.
Practically, this pond serves as an accurate indicator of the amount of recent rain we've been having, with the water level rising and falling quite considerably with rainfall.

A view of an adjacent housing estate, which features an area under construction. Newbury racecourse in the background.

Finally for this collection, here's a view showing the original control tower, now a visitors centre, just right of centre. The two round areas were parking areas for giant bombers, undergoing inspection by cattle here. Much of the runway is visible.

if you have any questions about this page, the photographs, or the common itself - or indeed about the whole site - please email me at alansworld (at) gmail dot com