Edinburgh Council

hi, i will be getting a drone soon dji mini 2, i would like to do some drone work near the union canal near the calders (wester hailes) i read that if you want to use a drone in edinburgh and you are taking off from council land you have to have a permit? also if you want to fly over a road aswell?

But i also read that if you take off from public land or public rights of way you do not have to have a permit? so confusing. Can anyone help me? i have got in touch with edinburgh council for more advice, but, i can get blood out of a stone easier, thanks

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This may help from a 2021 FOI request.

I note the first line states ‘policy’

A policy is not a law, but equally I live in England and know Scotland can be different in some cases, so I probably do mroe research and hope that a member that lives in Scotland can provide more information.

Basically as soon as I read policy, I stopped reading and if it was me (in England) I would just adhere to CAA legality at that point.


Submit an FOI for how many people have been given a cease & desist for taking a photo in a park :rofl:

Hi i just live down from there in Edinburgh have had no problems flying in and around the city you will be fine flying there

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@jaybee is an Edinburgh based flyer, sure he’ll be able to assist

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If you wait on EDC for permission will be a long wait.but the good news is you will be on land that EDC does not control, you will in fact be on forth& Union canal land, no one be there to challenge you. As long as you fly per CAA rules you will be fine plus mini 2 is sub 250g

Thanks for the info, i think if i got to close to hermiston gate, there is restrictions there due to the airport i think, but i just fancy abit of the canal near the calders where i used to live. thanks for everyone who has replied to my message.cheers

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Hi, I’m in Edinburgh too, not far from the canal. I’ve flown near Harrison Park and in the meadows, and I haven’t had anyone challenge me so far. As others have said, a policy is not a legally enforceable law, so they’re ultimately powerless to stop anyone flying a sub 250g drone and staying within the CAA rules. Having said that, I think it’s good general advice not to draw attention to yourself, be discreet as far as you can, and you’ll be fine. Once your drone is in the air very few people will even be aware that it’s there. Happy flying.

Kirknewton is the only place you would need to keep an eye out for.use drone assist it will keep you right around the calders

Fife Council is just as bad if not worse. They are using Temporary Acces Rights to prevent take-off and landing on any council owned, managed and tenanted land. Including land where the public would normally have access. Temporary access rights | Fife Council

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Would depend on whether the flight was recreational or commercial?
From Scottish Canals website:

  • All commercial drone users must submit a filming application via our filming hub and ensure that all appropriate certification, including insurance, is in place and that a safe flying plan is agreed. Charges may apply to filming or other commercial activities.
  • Leisure drone operators must follow the Civil Aviation Authority Drone Code at all times; flying over boats, lock chambers, bridges, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies, and other members of the public is not permitted.

Which part of the drone code prohibits flying over or near the falkirk wheel or kelpies with a sub 250g UAV


It doesn’t unless you take off from the land owned by Falkirk council,who post no drones signs

It doesn’t.

Only thing that might stop you flying near or over are the usual regs about crowds assuming your TOAL doesn’t break the local drone rules. Both sites can be very busy.

Or step 1 foot on farmers land he isn’t going to chase you


I think our right of access (Land reform act 2003) here in Scotland supersedes local authority policies as long as you are not endangering wildlife, annoying people, etc. As far as I am aware Scottish shorelines are Crown estate and supersede local authority polices. Are canal towpaths not public footpaths? Scotland is way better than the rest of the UK, its something we need to protect, every few years the government try to take away our rights. As far as I am aware there’s no trespass laws in Scotland either. Power to the people!

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Trespassing is seen in the same lights as criminal damage but has to be proved

Not being anti English but many who move from the south are not aware the change in trespassing laws between English & scottish law when they buy land

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that only about 50% of Scottish shoreline is Crown Estate.

Don’t think so.