Can Councils or National Trust Stop You Flying Drones? Police Confirm!

Can Councils or National Trust Stop You Flying Drones? Police Confirm!

Hey everyone! As part of our collaboration with the National Police Chiefs’ Council Counter Drone Team, we recently held a live stream to discuss key parts of the UK drone rules. This included whether or not councils and organisations like National Trust can stop drone flight. We ask if you need takeoff permission and if you can fly over the land in question. Enjoy this highlight from the show, you can view it in full here:


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  1. Pebblebuoy on August 22, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    So basically as long as it’s not breaking a legitimate bylaw or the CAA’s own drone code, we can’t be stopped. For example the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust say they do not allow drone flying from their sites; however as they’re not privately owned and this is only a policy, not a bylaw, then drone flying and launching is still okay, if done respectfully? They are just a charity I believe

  2. William Jenkins on August 22, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    So a bylaw can stop you from flying a drone over their land?

  3. Mark R White on August 22, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    What about the do not disturb wild animals and birds could they use that

  4. Dean s on August 22, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    We have a large park local to me which i was hoping to fly my air 2s in.. I am a member of fpvuk, can fly under article 16 obviously with a risk assesment, have a a2cofc, and always wish to fly legally.
    I Notice Leicester where im from has a bylaw for parks that no take of or landing is allowed of model aircraft…
    As stated in page 6 of leicester BYELAWS FOR PLEASURE GROUNDS, PUBLIC WALKS
    This even with my relevent qualifications and permissions makes things incredibly difficult..

  5. Lindsay Heyes on August 22, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    Very helpful short, Sean.

    So from that, the RFU is overreaching with its guidance for clubs, which paraphrases The Drone Code but does not include the exemptions for drones with MTOM <250g. So if you ask to fly a drone to record a player for a sports assessment, the club will expect you to comply with a document which states that your drone must be 150 metres away from the pitch.

    The club is then in an invidious position. If they use their discretion they are at loggerheads with their sport’s governing body and they may invalidate their insurance. That could be important if the videography is recreational and tge pilot has no 3rd party and environmental cover.

    If they don’t ignore the RFU, they are controlling airspace, contravening the ANO. I have asked the RFU Legal Department to reconsider. I’ll let you know the outcome.

  6. Kunil Tailor on August 22, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    I have back and forth emails from the National Trust and they informed me Drones cannot be flown above their land which is not true because a pilot could easily take off from public land and fly over NT land as there is no brick wall in the sky and the view can be the same, if a pilot takes off from National Trust land without permission that wouldn’t be acceptable. The below byelaw is what they said covers Drones

    11. (a) No unauthorised person shall:
    (i) Moor, park or leave on Trust Property any conveyance except in mooring sites or parking places provided by the National Trust
    (ii) Leave any conveyance between sunset and sunrise in any parking place on Trust Property
    (iii) Ride or drive any conveyance over or upon Trust Property otherwise than upon roads, tracks and wateways authorised for the use of such conveyance
    (b) No person shall ride or drive any conveyance to the danger or annoyance of or without due consideration for other persons resorting to Trust Property
    Note: In this Byelaw "conveyance" includes any air, land or watercraft vehicle or machine other than wheelchairs and permbulators.

    Would love to get some professional opinions on this.

  7. KERNOW. .EXP. on August 22, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    Manny thanks folks

  8. James McLaughlin -North Coast Aerial Photography on August 22, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    @geeksvana are there such thing as a byelaw for in flight regarding areas or do they have to be under as a frz?

  9. Kie-Drones on August 22, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    So basically, Take off/Landing can be controlled by land owners however taking off from land you’re allowed to then you can fly where you want within CAA regulations and Drone law?

  10. David Tolson on August 22, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    So I may be seriously splitting hairs but if I park my car in a council carpark and I do not step out of my car and hand launch and land through my sun roof how would I stand? Neither me nor my drone have set foot on their land and the drone has only been in airspace 🙂

  11. Keith Wilson on August 22, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    Sean do you feel that there will be mass requests for byelaws from councils using the safety argument just to ensure no drones?
    Does an over fly byelaw have a height limit for example is it upto the legal height limit for drones?

  12. That Goth Guy on August 22, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    I recently contacted The National Trust as their website states incorrect information, it states:

    "As a landowner National Trust does not permit drone operation from any of our land and properties."

    I replied: However it fails to mention that your bylaws only apply if a person is stood on your property, if they are not on your land you can not apply any bylaws to them, similarly you don’t control the airspace above your land so people can stand outside your property and fly a drone over it legally unless the CAA has created a No Fly Zone (specifically applied to open airports and functional prisons and not private land).

    It states: "Many of our places are the homes of our tenants or donor families. We respect and value their privacy and drone use would be an infringement of that privacy"

    I replied: Under law you have no right to privacy from a public place and we create our own privacy in public, photography is not a crime and it only matters where the photographer is standing so if they are not on your land they can photograph all they want which includes flying a drone through CAA controlled airspace and over your land as you don’t actually own the airspace.

  13. MrAbletospeak on August 22, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    The national trust has no properties in Scotland and many laws are different. If this is specific to parts of the UK? please let us know.

  14. Mad Dire on August 22, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    I’m curious. Is taking off from the roof of your car still classed as taking off from land?

    Also, if i jump off my stationary car whilst holding my drone and take off from mid air, will this make it exempt?

  15. Brian Holden on August 22, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    I too live in Surrey Heath we’re there is a no drone policy on council owned land. Am I correct in saying I can take off and land on highway authority land such as paths, grass verges etc?

  16. FiMI Cloud Busta on August 22, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Great questions and again trying so hard my respect for that ..sadly clear as mud so are the 2 cops nothing clear whatsoever all land is owned by someone..simply solution is the app that clearly says can I fly from here ? Yes or no if buts ..people will break rules unwittingly and that’s just sad . This is coming from a near 60 year old guy who would love to get into drones as a new hobby to take aerial video of our new grandson next generation family captures would be great without forever looking over your shoulder .. 👍

  17. snowmansid on August 22, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Can someone clear up a quick question please. Is it not a civil complaint if someone breaks a by-law and the police do not have jurisdiction over civil, how can the police enforce a civil law put in place by a local authority? I have always been lead to believe that the police can only enforce criminal law and to enforce civil law it would take a court order against a named individual.

  18. Mark on August 22, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    So for example, in sheffield where the council is very anti drone, would it be legal to fly from a grass verge, footpath or quiet road owned by highways?

  19. XospheriX on August 22, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    This is the first youtube video I’ve actually l9oked forward too. Really informative and useful. One thing I wanted an answer on but it didn’t come up. Can you take off from a lay-by or a very quiet country lane or byway With a sub 250?

  20. Jason Oppong on August 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Are the takeoff/landing rules the same with the Royal Parks in London? do they have control of UAS Geographical zone above and hence prohibits you flying your drone over them??

  21. Jonathan Davies on August 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    This is so helpful. Thanks again for the amazing content.

  22. Sam Butcher on August 22, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    I haven’t had a chance to watch the whole show yet Sean, but did you cover how someone can check if there is a by-law in place on a given piece of land?

  23. Kenny Brown on August 22, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    So if I fly my drone into the back of my large van while it is sat on my drive and set the drone to hover. I can drive to a national trust car park 1/2 a mile away open the doors of the van and fly out as I have not taken of on there property ?

  24. CHRISSO FPV on August 22, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    As an fpv pilot Im always very careful…but I do get the impression that theres been a lot of malicious damage done by our World class tabloids in relation to drones and how lethal they are to all living things.Yes,..the council read these World Class comics and form an opinion,…and pass a bylaw.
    That is the " danger" I see….ignorant misinformed people making laws.

  25. Martyn Burton on August 22, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    The National Trust owns 250,000 hectares of land and have a blanket ban on all drones from their land. They do however use drones for survey work, inspections, filming and photography but only allow professional contractors. What a pity, I bet we are missing out on some great locations.

  26. Matthew Dray on August 22, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    you have to remember that local authorities do not have authority to create bylaws that supersede government legislation which in this case is ANO 2016/Cap 722. So even if a bylaw exists you can challenge it.

  27. James Roberts on August 22, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    National Trust have such a vast amount of land beyond their country homes where responsible fliers wouldn’t encounter any issues or put anyone or anything in danger. It would be great to get a representative on your show to discuss it and see if there is a way to open up some quiet countryside for use. Currently I’m using a drone for research and it is frustrating that they are so reluctant. I was walking past some of their land recently and there was a troop of men with shot guns and dead pheasants and quad bikes on there but I couldn’t fly a sub 250g drone anywhere on the land.

  28. Andy Droid on August 22, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    According to drone assist Middleton Park is in a High risk area. Is very close to the altitude restricted zone of LBS. Yet is the only park you can take off from
    Leeds bylaws parks.
    38. No person shall cause any power-driven model aircraft to- (a) take off or otherwise be released for flight or control the flight of such an aircraft; or

    (b) land in the ground without reasonable excuse, other than in the grounds listed in Part 4 of Schedule 2.

    Schedule 2, Part 4

    Grounds where the flying of model aircraft is permitted
    Middleton Park

  29. Wally Gargett on August 22, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Newcastle upon Tyne council say there are no drones aloud in Newcastle. This is on their website

  30. David D on August 22, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Hey geeksvana would you be able to perhaps comment or make a update on this, as the national trust has added to their policy on drones webpage that they have a blanket bylaw across all sights which after watching this video seems unrealistic unless recently passed? Are they frivolously using the word “bylaw” as they understand that’s what we are looking for in order to comply in order to block anyone or reduce flights from over their land? If so Is this not a purposeful unjust description to deter pilots from flying over national trust lane? Or is this a new legal passing of by law for the national trust? @geeksvana

  31. Bob Norris on August 22, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    very worth watching, but if you ask local councils if you can fly 99 times out of a 100 they will say no……….but the question to ask then is please send me a copy of the by law !!

  32. Vincent Smedley on August 22, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Just an idea, but wouldnt be be a good idea if they created an app like Dronecast or UAV Forcast that could tell you if your in an area your not allowed to take off? Then it would be that simple that you could turn up anywhere, stick the app on and know the local by laws etc, maybe even create a link where people who own property can tag where you cant take off and land.. just an idea..

  33. KernowRadio on August 22, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    So what is the definitive answer as to taking off and landing on National Trust land?
    Can you or can’t you??

    A lot of the Coastline here in Cornwall is owned by the National trust and I would like to know if taking off from their land would be illegal?

  34. Woody Drones On on August 22, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    Surely if a council or other puts up a sign that says no drones allowed here, but legally there is no bye laws or legal reason why a drone pilot could take off or fly over it, then they are making flaudulent statements and the signs should be took down or at the very least the notice should be truthful and state for example NT we cannot take off and land but legally to fly over then usually a fly over is legal. I always take off and get as high up as possible and fly away from people when ever I can and with a sub 250g drone likehood of damage or injury will be reduced. Obviously flying 50ft over a NT site with visitors walking over the gardens would not be a sensible thing to do!! I undestand the concerns of NT and other places, but they could also have special days where drones could fly for a small fee. They are missing a lot of extra cash and free advertising/exposure to thier properties on social media by behaving like this. NT have been very bad at providing inacurate advise to the general public which only makes the general public dislike drones even more.

  35. Dyna- Drone on August 22, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    I have to save being in the United States we have a little bit easier than the UK area I think so if I ever come to the UK I’ll have to look you up and you can help take care of me so I don’t step on anybody’s toes and get in trouble

  36. Out and About & Photography Bill Rankin on August 22, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    How can a council issue a bye law for an area they don’t control ? The can’t enforce its like the council putting a parking ticket on your car parked in your own garden, the council don’t have the power to overrule the CAA flight rules. Air shows, events show up on drone assist if there’s no restriction fly away. Bottom line is be sensible, careful and check drone assist first. What I can see happening is the council charging you as most councils are greedy and will cash in on anything.

  37. The Werewolf on August 22, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    I’m very glad he explicitly pointed out that as long as you take off and land from a place that doesn’t prohibit it, once in the air, you’re free to fly over a place that prohibits take off or landing. A lot of people just don’t get that. As he said, the air isn’t owned by the land owner.

    That being said, just as a matter of courtesy and being a good drone op, avoid flying over (or too low over) someone’s property, especially if they’ve made it clear they don’t want you doing that.

  38. graham Fullard on August 22, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    Good Advice

  39. Andy Dubreuil Photography on August 22, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Great questions Sean 👏👏👏

  40. nigel leyland on August 22, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    So…. can i take off/land on the roof of my car?

  41. stephen davies on August 22, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Really enjoyed level speaking thanks ,when the next one

  42. That Goth Guy on August 22, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    How would you deal with somewhere like "Trafford Council" that claims it’s illegal to fly from their 40 square miles of land!

    On their website "Drones and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) cannot take off or land on Council land without our permission. Permission will generally only be granted where usage of a drone aids risk reduction in the workplace such as working at height, land and building survey work and or undertaking a professional service such as at festivals and events, or if the filming can be supported in line with our film-friendly policy."

  43. Fred Kaz on August 22, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Some times things can go the wrong way. Lets say you ring up a local council to see if flying in the public park is allowed. My experience regarding this exact scenario is, I have rang two local; councils, asked the question, explained I have all the correct paperwork. But it is just to easy for the council to say no without even looking. Most of the time they don’t want to bother seeing if flying is allowed. If they say no without looking, what do you do, take it as gospel? and not fly, or do you risk it.

  44. That Goth Guy Drones on August 22, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    If you hand launch and hand land does that count as taking off from council land?

  45. battyjoe on August 22, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    My understanding is that Bylaws cannot legislate against national laws. The CAA dictate the law in regard of drones,. That said I would stop if there was a bylaw and you can then challenge the bylaw.

  46. Ray Keogh on August 22, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    GREAT video i must thank Ken Heron for doing the dirty on you otherwise I would not of know who you are. Now I watch all your videos.I fly a lot in America ( my sis lives there ) they have all kind of apps to tell you if there are or are not bylaws so that everything is clear. My sister lives two miles away from Philly airport. Be4you fly app is amazing you put the time you wish to fly at the height and how long for click go and virtually immediately it comes back with a yes or no. we had a wedding so lots of family went over from the UK I wanted a photo of both of our family’s together outside there house. My brother inlaw is from Liverpool to so I asked for 2pm 40ft for 30 mins. instantly yes safe to fly. That is brilliant. What are the best apps in the UK for flying drones I have drone buddy Altitude Angel ( tells me all of Liverpool city centre and all od the river Mersey is high risk. UAV Forecast , Not sure if before I fly there is British or not, would you recommend any others ? Thanks for sharing Ray K UK YNWA.

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