Crown Estate granted permission vs SSSI


I have been flying drone in my country for years but I am planning to visit UK in the coming summer vacation. I also joined the dronescene knowing that the area near the famous Durdle door has a strip of land along the seashore giving a Crown Estate permission to fly drones but it overlaps with the SSSI. Does it mean I am not allowed to fly there?

Best Regards,


The biggest problem with SSSI is that there is no hard and fast reason why drone flying in/over one may, or may not, be advisable. This is mainly because none has been established with drones in mind.

Drilling down into the links for the SSSI on Drone Scene can sometimes give a little more information, but without local knowledge of the area it can still be difficult to come to an assessment before reaching the location.

This particular SSSI is related to “The Jurassic Coast” a large, and long, coastal area of immense geological interest, even though reading the citation they throw in “wildlife” as a reason (when don’t they?).

Most of the land within that SSSI is trampled by millions of tourists and fossil hunters every year - so the potential for any addition adverse impact by drone flying is going to be insignificant.

I know the area pretty well, and the main issue will probably be those visitors, and flying so that they don’t get totally pissed off.
Luckily, it’s a big climb back up from the beach before any irate tourist can find anyone they might wish to report their annoyance to, so any drone battery will have forced a landing before anyone of genuine “importance” (not just their own perceived importance) will appear … if ever.

From experience - taking off from somewhere sensible on the cliff tops can be better than a busy beach (though with current weather … “busy” probably isn’t a thing}.
Then it’s just a matter of being respectful of those that want to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area.

The above isn’t a “legal defence”, just the way I’d consider flying there … as I have, several times.


Hi OzoneVibe,

Thanks for your prompt response.

Without creating annoying noise for the tourists, I plan to TOAL at the top of the cliff keeping a separation from the crowd. Also, I noticed that the strip of land along the Jurassic coast is not under the national trust that would be good news. I have the same practice in my town, as I live in Hong Kong which is a tiny place and not easy to find a hotspot without a mass of people. For this situation, I will find a place for TOAL remote from the hotspot, which could be even 2 km away with sufficient battery reserved for the return trip.

BTW, I also plan to fly the Stonehenge for sunset, but National Trust land covers a large area which will make the flight impossible.

Best Regards,


It’s clear to fly there very close on the south side … which, for long shadows near sunset, isn’t actually a bad view … from anywhere along the line I’ve scribbled on this screenshot … and further out.


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Yes. From the map of Dronescene, I also noticed that all the land around the Stonehenge is owned by National Trust and can’t find the place for TOAL.
Where can I fly my drone in the UK_ - D…pdf (1.2 MB)

Indeed - but they take a look at Stonehenge - Added to Monuments in South West … some notes one where one can TOAL.

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I have planned to take a paid visit to Stonehenge with my son by the time near the end of opening hour. After the visit, then drive this spot to prepare for the flight. BTW, sunset during summer time is a bit late and I may not wait for, but I hope could catch some view with shadow of these stones before sunset.

Also note that the flight restriction for Larkhill ( to the north)/almost bisects the site. :wink:

Be aware that parts of the area are privately owned by the Lulworth Estate which does not allow TOAL from their land. Also in the UK you must keep your drone within Visual Line of Sight so your idea to fly 2km away is not legal. You will also need to register with the CAA before you can fly in the UK and follow the CAA drone code.

That link is only for licensed commercial operations. If you’re a hobbyist you can safely ignore that web site completely.

Unless you pay them. Funny how it all suddenly becomes perfectly fine to fly at that point :roll_eyes:

Thankfully there are miles of Foreshore and Estuary areas that can be used for TOAL:

And probably plenty of public footpaths around there too :smiley:

That very much depends on the size of the drone :blush:


And how good your :eyes: are

Hi chyeungc,

There’s an interesting youtube video by Ian in London

that you might find worth looking at. He specifically mentions Stonehenge about half way through.

One important thing to remember if you’re planning to fly your drone in the UK that nobody seems to have mentioned, is that here i the UK we fly on the left. :rofl:


I like your style

Hi @Whaleoilbeefhooked, it looks as though you’re quite new here :wave:t2:

Why not nip over to the Introductions page, and say hello properly and tell us a bit about yourself. :+1:t2:

The Quote at 05:20 should be imbedded in every Drone controller and auto play every time you boot up!

In a nutshell

Don’t be a dick

Need some advice live on Portland a quarter of the island is now in a NFZ due to new 400m prison rules & amazingly all of the foreshore is now SSSI, Do I need to obtain permission to fly in the SSSI or am I just not permitted to use said area for TOAL ? I’m convinced the powers that be want to make recreational droning as difficult as possible ?

What does Drone Scene say?

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That’s why I’m asking it’s ambiguous doesn’t answer my question either way !

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