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PfAW English Lake District Permission to Fly
1766 27 2016-5-14
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nigelw
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Has anyone here ever been able to obtain permission from the National Trust or any other major landowner to fly from their property (edit:land, i.e. mountains, not gardens or houses, buildings etc.) to film or carry out commercial photography in the Lake District?

I understand it's a requirement for CAA permission that you must have permission from the landowner whos land you want to take off from before commencing any work.  Is there an easier way around this, other than getting permission from say, a local farm of neighbouring land?
2016-5-14
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GB44
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Unlikely you will get permission from the National Trust as they have their own UAVs..and they don't generally give out permissions.  However, if it was for the BBC or the likes where it was promoting the area or perhaps a documentary this is a total different story.  If its just for your own benefit, your or unlikely to get approval.
2016-5-14
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nigelw
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GB44 Posted at 2016-5-14 13:08
Unlikely you will get permission from the National Trust as they have their own UAVs..and they don't ...

Yeah, that's my feeling, what with them being a charity for the British people & all.

From that then, I assume commercial aerial photography in the area would be impossible from an operational/insurance point of view, unless I could secure a piece of land adjacent, which is still a possibility.  I'll be asking the same of United Utilities & the Lake District National Park authority, although I'm not expecting much there either to be honest.

What would count as public land?  The roadside?  I expect you'd need permission from the Highways Agency for that.
2016-5-14
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Mike-the-cat
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Mis post. Moderator kindly delete.
2016-5-14
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Tharg (from the
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-14 14:15
Yeah, that's my feeling, what with them being a charity for the British people & all.

From that t ...

No, that will NOT be a possibility.
OK - first things first.
All NT estate are protected by the Crown and have bylaws in place that prohibit you flying OVER them not just taking off and landing on them.
This covers the entire estate. So if its a jolly nice castle in the middle of nowhere and the land ownership runs to several thousand acres you CANNOT FLY OVER ANY OF IT even if you were to take off a mile outside.
This goes back to a long standing law passed decades ago which prohibits powered model or radio controlled aircraft from being used on or over NT property.
Secondly, permissions are a nightmare to get but CAN be done. However, do not expect a quick turnaround or not to jump through many hoops. Insurance uplift will be required over and above the usual £5m PL.
An NT officer/Warden will be present at all times during operation and his word will be final.
If you do not hold PFAW don't even bother applying, you will be flatly refused.
2016-5-14
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nigelw
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-14 21:32
No, that will NOT be a possibility.
OK - first things first.
All NT estate are protected by the Cr ...

Do you have references to these laws?  I've never heard of anything other than Byelaws, which are near on impossible to find.  As I understand it, Byelaws must be posted adjacent to the property or land they protect.

Also, I've never heard of any law that protects airspace other than around airports, military installations etc.  NT are just a landowner & charity.

As far as PfAW is concerned, that's the whole point of my research, to find out if it's financially viable & practical to bother with it.  If I wasn't going to get PfAW, I wouldn't bother asking for permission, I'd just take my chances.
2016-5-14
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rodger
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I fly it all the time. Not a problem.
2016-5-14
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michaelfinney_h
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I do amateur videos and have done a lot of the interiors of NT properties. The local property manager usually has the final say if you can, or can't. If you want to do commercial work that will most likely be different.       They may want a "bung".     Just give them a ring at where you want to fly and see what they say.
2016-5-14
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Tharg (from the
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-14 22:56
Do you have references to these laws?  I've never heard of anything other than Byelaws, which are  ...

Then you haven't done your research properly. The NT are a TRUST which gives them special powers under the Crown. You should not be flying in or OVER NT properties. Others that say they do it all the time or 'It's fine' simply haven't been caught and /or are completely ignorant of the laws afforded to the NT by the Crown. Yes, they are fairly unique in their power of stopping flight over their land.
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Tharg (from the
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rodger Posted at 2016-5-15 02:35
I fly it all the time. Not a problem.

What in the United States? NT is National Trust - a UK entity
2016-5-14
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GB44
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-15 08:56
Then you haven't done your research properly. The NT are a TRUST which gives them special powers u ...

Correct.

I spoke with a local NT guy last year and after about three weeks of deliberation of whether to give permission or not to fly over and around a small remote castle, the answer was no.

I was eventually informed by the local Ranger/ Manager that he had spoke with his superiors and was advised that they have their own in house UAV guys and that there was a national policy within the National Trust that UAV flights were not permitted.
2016-5-15
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nigelw
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-15 08:56
Then you haven't done your research properly. The NT are a TRUST which gives them special powers u ...

I am doing my research, I haven't done my research.  This is part of it, so hopefully by the time I've finished, I will have done it properly!  Which is why I'm looking for actual references to the byelaws & actual experiences, rather than just opinions.
On re-reading my original post I realise I need to clarify.  When I say property, what I should have said is land, as in fields & mountains where you don't have to pay for entry & there are rights of way.

I know there are strict photography rules in & around buildings & gardens, but less so in the great outdoors.  I've been selling stock photography of the Lake District for years, as have many others, with no problems, even though the NT lodge their images with the same photo library.  In theory I need permission to do that, but I'd be surprised if anyone has ever even requested it, let alone been granted permission.



2016-5-15
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Tharg (from the
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-15 11:42
I am doing my research, I haven't done my research.  This is part of it, so hopefully by the time I ...

Simple enough to find - Drone Flying over NT Land

Although this is on their Norfolk Coast page it is in fact a COUNTRY WIDE blanket ban on all NT estates.
I have done aerial work for Heritage sites and there is a lot of red tape involved and in my initial case I had to wait until the application had gone to committee before they would authorise the work to be carried out - and that was for work THEY wanted not the other way round! Copies of of all PFAW, Insurance and an OSC had to go to them with contingency plans, emergency procedures specific to the site and a whole host of other information.

Ground photography is obviously something completely different and not subject to the same restrictions as using a UAV on or over the NT's properties and land areas.
2016-5-15
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nigelw
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-16 08:20
Simple enough to find - Drone Flying over NT Land

Although this is on their Norfolk Coast page it ...

All good information, thanks.  I've seen this before & can see there would be very good reasons for not flying over the Norfolk coastline for conservation & nuisance reasons, since it's a haven for wildlife & in particular, birds.
Regarding ground photography, here is the NT's page related to both commercial & amateur photography.  It clearly states "The National Trust does not permit photography or filming at its properties for commercial use or for reproduction in any form without consent from National Trust Images".  This is correct, but it's not enforced, with the probable exception of pay to enter property.

For example, if you do an image search on Alamy.com for "Scafell Pike" you will see over 1000 images.  If you then go to the Andvanced Search tab & enter "The National Trust" in the Contributor field, you get 4 images.  There's no way the majority of those images have any kind of autorisation from the NT.  All the NT has to do if they want to enforce their rules, is ask Alamy to remove them.  They will certainly be aware of them & have a very good reason to do so, because they're in direct competition with their own images, but they choose not to.


Another example, not from the NT, but to expand on the point, in February, I had an email from Alamy telling me that National Rail had requested removal of two of my images, because they were taken inside National Rail property (St. Pancras Station) without authorisation & this is violating their exclusive intellectual property rights .  Alamy had deleted both images & said they would be re-instated if I could prove I had authorisation.  A similar email went out to many other contributors the same day & thousands of images were removed.  The following day, another email arrived which said, in relation to the first email "Since then Network Rail have sought legal advice and they have changed their opinion. They have said they’re fine to sell editorially." & the images were re-instated.


Now, I'm not suggesting for one minute that any of this means that you don't need permission from the NT to fly a drone from their land, far from it. But it does show that it's not as clear cut as their guidlines would have you believe.  Yes, if there are byelaws preventing flying over their land, fair enough.  But, byelaws have to relate to specific local areas & with specific reasons which have to be approved by government, such as the Norfolk coastline.


Protecting intellectual property isn't a valid reason, as it's covered by existing UK legislation already which cannot be overridden by byelaws.



I can see I'll need to investigate further & physically go & have a read of the NT byelaws for myself for the areas I'm interested in, or maybe seek legal advice.  Not because I want to avoid trying to get permission, but as a backup plan if I can't get permission, which is obviously extremely difficult.

2016-5-16
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nigelw
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In fact, I've just had a reply to an email I sent last week from the Head of Filming & Locations at the NT, saying they only allow drone filming for professional film crews for things like Poldark or Countryfile etc., & sometimes not even for them.  I still have a couple of avenues to explore, but it's not looking good at this point.
2016-5-16
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nigelw
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So, going back to my original post.  As far as PfAW is concerned, does anyone know if you need permission from the landowner to take off & land from a public right of way?
Edit: Actually, forget I asked, since even if it were legal, you can't prevent people from walking through you take off point, so there's no way to protect the area.

So, I'm not likely to ever get permission to fly from NT land.  Although I'm not convinced I can't fly over it within VLOS limits.  I'll just have to try the other landowners in the area.
2016-5-16
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mrdanlawrence
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-16 12:06
So, going back to my original post.  As far as PfAW is concerned, does anyone know if you need permi ...

HI Nigel

I am based down South and have Pfaw , i fly on the South Downs which is National Trust land , after many attempts to contact them I finally spoke to a local manger who agreed that it was Ok to fly on his patch after I had explained to him what measures I take to safeguard the public and livestock on their land . He didn't mention the nation directive which was mentioned earlier in this thread , I think like most big organisations there isn't a lot of joined up thinking .
To make it more complicated after he gave me permission a farmer came and told me it was his land as he rents it off the National Trust , after showing him my Inspire he gave me a lift up the hill and i emailed him some footage of his land which he was very happy about .
So in general I think getting permission for National Trust land will vary from area to area .
2016-5-24
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nigelw
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mrdanlawrence Posted at 2016-5-24 18:27
HI Nigel

I am based down South and have Pfaw , i fly on the South Downs which is National Trust  ...

That's good to hear.  I was wondering about the farmer's rented or leased land situation.  I suppose in theory, the NT could complain on the technicality of who the landowner is. As always, it's as clear as mud who is & isn't allowed to give you permission. There's a chance the farmer could be at risk for breach of contract, which isn't your problem.  But, the main thing is, you have permission to take off & land as far as the CAA & insurance company are concerned, so they shouldn't have any issues.

I've since been able to get permission in principle from a couple of major landowners in the Lakes so far, so it's all looking good right now.

Cheers
2016-5-24
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ayrshireuav
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Q. Why don’t you allow drones to fly at National Trust sites?

A. Few non-commercial users have the correct training or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate drones and should a drone cause damage or harm, pilots generally do not have the correct insurances to compensate those affected. Drones should not be flown over people and as much of our land is open access we cannot guarantee an area is ever completely empty. Drones should not be flown near property and the special nature of our properties makes the risk of damage more severe. Some sites may have wildlife or agricultural animals which could be affected by the presence of drones. 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. We therefore do not allow drone flying from or over National Trust land except by contractors commissioned by the Trust for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct  insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.

Got this from their website. They don't mention bye laws, crown specific laws, or any other obscure law. They say there are rules. Rules aren't laws and could legally be unenforceable. Having a PFAW, £5m liability insurance policy, and a tried and trusted ops manual, and safety policy shouldn't preclude them refusing you access. Or even objecting to images taken.
2016-5-24
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ayrshireuav
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Also, if you email keith.jones@nationaltrust.org.uk and ask for a copy of their UAV policy he will email you it. He's replied to other website chat rooms on the subject.
2016-5-24
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nigelw
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ayrshireuav Posted at 2016-5-25 00:37
Also, if you email  and ask for a copy of their UAV policy he will email you it. He's replied to oth ...

Thanks, I'll do that.  He only covers Wales apparently, but hopefully the policy is a nationwide one.
2016-5-25
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Matt-and-Riley
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Can anyone point me to the actual bylaw document banning uavs, I cant find it anywhere. And is it true the maximum penalty for breaking any of their bylaws is £20?

Ive got a feeling much of this is pure bs and wont stand up in court. They just want to pocket profits they make and scare off anyone else.

Regards to intellectual property, is that a civil and not criminal matter?
2016-5-27
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nigelw
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Matt-and-Riley Posted at 2016-5-28 01:18
Can anyone point me to the actual bylaw document banning uavs, I cant find it anywhere. And is it tr ...

The byelaws are kept at the offices of the authority they're made for, so the only way to see them is to go & have a look.  Fines can vary a lot.  I've seen one set of byelaws from 1965 which carries fines of £20 maximum, but these days they can be between £500 & £2500 depending on how serious an offence it is.  I expect the 1965 byelaws have been revised since they were written.

I'll take my chances.  If a ranger catches you, he'll most likely tell you to stop first, before issuing a summons unless you're causing a real nuisance &/or being aggressive.  You can always give them a false address if it came to it, which is also illegal, but the chances of being caught are very slim.

Yes, IP is a civil matter.  As long as you're standing on a public right of way or public property there's not much they can do, even if you're taking photos for profit.
2016-5-28
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Tharg (from the
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Glad to see so many people 'Talking their chances' and not actually abiding by the rules laid down by way of either the Air Navigation Order or specific regulation protected by the Crown and there for the benefit of all.

And people wonder why drones get a bad name. The sooner they are totally banned for hobby flyers with this sort of attitude and only allowed for certified UAV operators the better as far as I'm concerned.
It will not affect me in the slightest and with reduced restrictions being introduced soon by way of EASA regulations coming through to PFAW holders even better.
2016-5-28
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nigelw
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-28 14:54
Glad to see so many people 'Talking their chances' and not actually abiding by the rules laid down b ...

For the benefit of all?  Unless there's money involved.  I suppose you agree with the NT trying to claim IP rights on the mountains too.

Half of the "rules" you talk about are made up.  Protected by the crown.  What's protected by the crown?  The air?  You're just the type of arrogant ellitist that runs the NT, that would protect the Lake District for the few, rather than the majority.  The only reason the NT won't allow commercial drone flight is because they don't want someone else making money instead of them.  They've as much as said that to me, saying you can't sell photos or submit photos to image libraries because that would be in competition with their own pitiful collection.  This "fact" is also a lie.
2016-5-28
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Tharg (from the
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-28 17:46
For the benefit of all?  Unless there's money involved.  I suppose you agree with the NT trying to  ...

The LAND and the countryside is for the benefit and enjoyment of all without hobby UAV flyers buzzing around without regard for wildlife or other users of the area.
Never mind though as long as YOU can do whatever you want and as long as YOU'RE not inconvenienced or dare told that YOU can't do something then that's just fine and the rules just apply to everybody else but not YOU.
If that makes me elitist then so be it. You are probably the sort of individual who parks over someone's driveway because that's where YOU want to park.
You are typical of a generation who wants to do something, is then told no, doesn't like that answer so goes ahead and does I anyway.
Your thread started out as wanting to get permission to fly over NT land. You have been told by various other contributors (who have more experience in the commercial use of UAV's than yourself) as well as the NT themselves that the answer is "NO".
But you don't like that answer so like a petulant child will just go ahead and do it anyway because you rebel against the word " No".

2016-5-28
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nigelw
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-28 20:31
The LAND and the countryside is for the benefit and enjoyment of all without hobby UAV flyers buzzi ...
Benefit for all except UAV hobbyists.  But 10 ramblers all talking loud enough for me to be disturbed on the next mountain top is ok?  And if they take photos & sell them, they're damaging what?

The elitist comment was about you wanting to ban all hobbyists & allow people to do the same thing for commercial gain, which incidentally, makes the same noise & causes similar disruption as most hobbyist UAV's, unless you have some kind of silencer on your inspire?

I'm quite happy to obey the rules that are enforceable & won't be flying from NT land.  However, until I see an actual law or byelaw that prevents me from flying over NT land, i'll treat your comments as opinions to be investigated further.  Just because you insist on using capitals in an attempt to exert your authority, doesn't make you right.  As with most UK laws, they are never black & white & are always open to abuse by those with power.  You may choose to obey everyone in authority without question, but I personally would like to see hard facts before bowing down.
2016-5-28
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Matt-and-Riley
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Tharg (from the Posted at 2016-5-28 20:31
The LAND and the countryside is for the benefit and enjoyment of all without hobby UAV flyers buzzi ...

I would have regard for wildlife or other users. I'm always considerate to other people and tolerate them using the countryside, I just ask the same. Even the hoards of hikers tramping around the place with the brightly coloured clothing causing lots of damage. Think my drone will do a lot less damage and disturb less wildlife.

Think the NT need to stop making rules for profit and spend some of the billions they have invested away in stocks and funds around the world. They are acting like a corporate entity, not a charitable custodian for the people.

Reclaim the countryside! Free your inner anarchist!
2016-5-29
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