The National Trust have instructed there staff in the South West that drones may not be flown on National Trust land. They are distributing this leaflet at their popular beauty spot along the National Trust Cornish coastline.
As landowners their reason is that they want to look these special places for everyone to be able to enjoy safely.
The National Trust do have existing legal bylaws in place that they can use to prevent aerial vehicles such as drones being flown, stating that drones can disturb wildlife and farm animals as well as people.
What People Think
As you would expect public attitude to the blanket National Trust ban at their properties is divided especially on social media, with strong opinions polarised in the two opposite ends of the argument.
None of us want drones flying over us our children and dogs in a dangerous way. So at Drone School UK we promote and train safe and responsible drone flying.
What Bylaws are They Talking About
The National Trust is protected from unsanctioned commercial exploitation by a byelaw passed in 1965, which states:
‘No unauthorised person shall on Trust Property sell or offer or expose for sale any commodity or article or for the purpose of trade or reward take any photograph’.
This section of the 1965 National Trust byelaws is the basis on which the Trust’s photographic policy is based. Their policy is explicit in welcoming people to take photographs out of doors at properties for personal use and research but the Trust does not permit photography for profit or publication without permission – any photographers gaining remuneration for their work cannot, by definition, be classed as amateurs. For commercial photography of gardens, architectural exteriors and interiors, permission is required from the Media and Broadcast Department.
The real problem that the National Trust has in enforcing these bylaws is that the potential fines related to the 1965 act are so low and out of date, that they are probably not worth entering into the legal process.
So in reality, the bylaws are a very small insignificant legal deterrent. However it does give their staff to have a real reason to confront someone flying a drone over National Trust property.
The National Trust Guidelines
Here is a summary of the National Trust guidelines for drone flying by members or by the general public.
- We do not grant permission for private flying for the following reasons;-
- CAA regulations state that drones should not be flown above or near to people. As our properties often have staff living or working on site, visitors present or have open access, unauthorised drone flying is both illegal and potentially puts people at risk.
- Few non-commercial users have the correct training or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate drones.
- If a drone causes damage or harm, pilots generally do not have the correct insurances, or level of insurances, to adequately compensate those affected.
- Some sites may have wildlife or agricultural animals, or animals which are sensitive to disturbance, such as birds and deer herds, which could be alarmed or stressed by the presence of drones, especially at breeding times.
- Many drones have cameras attached and these could infringe data protection laws (filming people without permission) and potentially could contravene National Trust rules on commercial photography and filming.
- The presence of drones can impinge on the quiet enjoyment of our sites by other visitors and therefore potentially presents a public nuisance risk.
Here is the link Click Here to read the full National Trust document.
Basic Drone Training
One thing is clear after Christmas there are many frustrated new drone owners waiting for some good weather to fly their drones.
Most of these hobby flyers are inexperienced and have little knowledge of how to fly a drone.
Contact us or look on our website to book a half day fun drone flying course. You get to fly a selection of the latest DJI drones.