Filming permission for Roche Abbey

I am a novice only been flying 6 months
I live quite close to Roche Abbey and wanted to do some filming i contacted them and they gave me a link to get permission the answer i got was to say I was able to hire it for 1250 pounds I was completely gob smacked have any of the members filmed there

Hi @rayward999 and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

In answer to your question one of our members @Frank has filmed here

Also loads on YouTube here

Have you seen our members map? (Click the burger-menu in the top right) You may find some pilots living near you. Feel free to add yourself to the members map too :+1:t2:

We’re a well established club with many knowledgeable members so it’s very likely that any issues you come across will have been discussed here before. Our discussion forum has very powerful search features which should help you find what you need but if you get stuck you can post a new question in the #questions-and-answers category.

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And please feel free to add locations of your own too.

Please also take a moment to look at the Membership Levels section on our FAQ as we’re quite different to other clubs and you’ll be eligible for some rather exclusive club discounts as your membership level increases :blush:

Welcome once again!

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Ray, it sounds like they mistook your permission to film as being a commercial entity request.

As a hobbyist, if there are no airspace restrictions in the area you don’t need their permission to fly over their land. Just take off from somewhere public nearby.


Thanks Ping Spike I told them i was individual and that it was for my personal use will see if i can get permission from else were

Just to reiterate @PingSpike comment, whoever owns the land or building can stop you from taking off or landing on their property, however, they have no control over the airspace above said land or property, so long as you are flying within CAA guidelines and are not causing an obstruction or nuisance(which at 100ft plus in the air you can’t)they cannot stop you overflying and filming. Just find a nearby public space to TOAL from.


HI Diveuk The place i am enquiring about is Roche Abbey which is part of English Heritage

Does not matter who owns the land they have no control over the airspace above that land. As long as you are legal(registered etc)and not flying in controlled airspace, go fly.

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If your just wanting some aerial shots you could always take off from the lay-by near the entrance.

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Thanks raspberry will try that out thanks

I did exactly this when taking this photo from there.

Admittedly, I wasnt hanging about and it was earlyish on a Sunday morning.


As others have pointed out. EH may own the land but they don’t own the airspace. They may have some ancient byelaw in place along the lines of ‘no public vehicles on site without express permission of the landowner’ keyword being landowner. No one owns airspace and only the CAA have any authority over it. Until there is a landmark court case to challenge this no one really knows how it will play out.

So as others have pointed out, take off and land from a public space which is not owned by them and do what you need to do. However you obviously need to keep within the CAAs drone code, so you must keep VLOS, and you must ensure when you do your flight that it is not considered ‘a crowd’ how do you determine if it’s a crowd? Can people easily get out the way if your drone falls out the sky? In an enclosed garden space this might not be possible, so your safest bet is to do so when the site is quiet, or to be completely sure. Closed.

Above is under the assumption you’re flying a sub 250g drone without additional insurance, which I would advise via FPVUK or BMFA etc which gives you a bit more freedom under article 16 for heavier drones and gives you liability cover as well as personal injury.


You can walk down the side of it when it is open and you do not have to pay unless you go into the actual area it covers.
I would go after 5pm once it’s closed and fly from there


I think the precedent has been set with this case…Bernstein v Skyviews - 1978

There’s a public footpath or the main road close by for Toal.


That only covered civil suits for trespass or nuisance, and the defence it established is now in Section 76 of the Civil Aviation Act.

It didn’t address the situation regarding criminal byelaws.

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My post was in response to the full quote “No one owns airspace and only the CAA have any authority over it. Until there is a landmark court case to challenge this no one really knows how it will play out”. I simply stated that the precedent has been set in law. A separate issue to bylaws.

The landowner owns to a point the airspace above there land, otherwise they would require permission to extend there house/building upwards in to the airspace from the CAA. Also they are entitled to such height as is necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of his land and the structures upon it. There is no legal limits, but I would say if you fly at a minimum 50m height or at least the height of any structure if more than 50m plus 10m then you have meet the obligations

The ruling says “A property owner’s rights in this case must therefore be restricted to such height as is necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of his land and the structures upon it, and to declare that above that height he had no greater rights in the airspace than any other member of the public”. I think we would be safe to assume 50m above the tallest structure is more than safe.


I did much the same, well I went for a wander around the site before opening to checkout the layout of the place and access etc before finding a reasonable place to take off from away from the site.

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They don’t realize people fly for fun they think they are losing out on a big bot of money. Cheek

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