Dartmoor National Park proposing change to byelaws

Got this via BMFA membership email.

“Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) is currently conducting a public consultation on proposed changes to its Byelaws, which include proposals to change the provisions for the operation of model aircraft.

As written, the proposed changes would change the status of model gliders and the BMFA view is that this proposal would represent an incorrect application of Byelaws and be of detriment to those members who have enjoyed slope soaring on various sites within the National Park for many decades.

We would encourage all members who would like to help protect slope soaring within the National Park to respond to the consultation, please see the attachment for further details.”

Why do they even need to ban drones? Of all the places in England where you are unlikely to meet another person when flying, Dartmoor is right up there.


To stop people having fun, as there boring buggers

20 - Kites, model aircraft and drones

(ii) No person shall launch any model aircraft or drone from the Access Land unless authorised to do so by the owner of the land and the Authority.

Doesn’t rule out a hand launch or catch … or taking off outside the boundary and flying over :wink:

(iii) No person shall operate any model aircraft or drone over the Access Land at a height or location that may disturb stock or wildlife or cause a nuisance to another person.

Completely meaningless, a statement that is totally subjective, impossible to measure, let alone enforce. And how does this perceived ‘noise’ compare to all the motorbikes, cars, lorries that drive through it, let alone the planes from nearby airports that fly over it.

Personally, an area spanning nearly 400 square miles verses 1 person and their drone … it is just another byelaw that cannot realistically be enforced.

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Grrr - more ridiculous restrictions being attempted. It’s not just the National Park, it’s the BMFA offering up drones again as the sacrificial lamb so their precious gliders are OK still. What about a bit of solidarity for all flyers? Care in the Air and all that!


I have replied to DNP via their survey and stated that I do agree with any of the drone restrictions and asked the question “how can a drone being flown at 100ft plus in the middle of nowhere be a disruption to other people and wildlife?”. I also mentioned that any bylaws that they try to introduce regards overflying their land would be in contradiction and would conflict with existing CAA regulations.


Also a bye law for something they don’t control, so not enforceable.

That point was made in one of the Facebook groups. I don’t think it’s correct. The CAA regs are about aviation safety, not about nuisance or disturbance. It’s entirely legitimate to restrict activities under other laws e.g. the Wildlife and Countryside Act bans disturbance of nesting birds and protected wildlife. It’s no good claiming the CAA control the air - you can still breach other legislation, and that includes byelaws.

I’ve replied to the consultation asking them to consider just restricting nuisance and disturbance, but removing the section about “launching” a drone from their land, as there’s plenty of space where that can be done without triggering their other concerns.

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If there is already such legislation in place then you do not need to create more bylaws.

For the wildlife disturbance element, that’s exactly what I said in my feedback to the Dartmoor consultation.

For the public nuisance element, there isn’t legislation, and perhaps that’s why their byelaws also cover playing music, hitting golf balls, etc, not just flying drones.

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