Drones & model aircraft

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly referred to as "drones", is becoming increasingly popular as drones become more affordable.  However, National Park Byelaws prohibit the use of drones and model aircraft on or over any common land within the National Park, except with prior written authority from the National Park Authority.  We are receiving increasing numbers of concerns from the public, farmers and local communities regarding the irresponsible use of drones which can cause annoyance to other park users and disturb grazing livestock and wildlife.

Requests for the use of drones for commercial activities such as filming are considered on a case by case basis, in consultation with affected landowners as appropriate.

The use of drones and model aircraft in the UK is overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of the Department of Transport, which regulates all civil aviation. The CAA website advises that

  • You are responsible for flying your drone in a safe manner
  • You must keep the drone in your direct sight at all times while it is flying, so that you can ensure that it does not collide with anything, especially other aircraft
  • You must not endanger anyone, or anything with your drone
  • If your drone weighs more than 7kg, you must not fly more than 400ft above the ground
  • If your drone is fitted with a camera, there are a number of additional limitations about where you can fly it, and how close you can fly it to other people or objects. The CAA and National Air Traffic Service have developed a website: www.dronesafe.uk, which aims to give drone pilots a clearer understanding of the regulations and how to fly their aircraft lawfully and responsibly. All drone users should be aware that:
  1. If you intentionally or recklessly alarm or frighten someone with your drone, or persist in targeting someone with your drone, you may commit the offence of harassment
  2. If you intentionally or recklessly damage someone else’s property with your drone, you could be liable for criminal damage
  3. If you fly your drone without exercising a reasonable standard of care and injure someone, you could face a claim for negligence and find yourself liable to pay compensation to the victim for personal injury
    Updated January 2018