Flying at Kielder, Northumberland

Has anyone else had any issues flying their drone at Kielder waterside?

Went to Kielder today and settled by the waterside ensuring I was away from anyone other than my family, got out my Mini2 and took off going straight up so not to annoy anyone but started filming the boats and the lake. after about 3 minutes flying a staff member approached me and ordered me to land as drones were not allowed by Northumbrian Water anywhere around Kielder. As I was on Northumbrian Water land its their prerogative so brought it back down to land immediately and whilst descending asked the staff member why it wasn’t allowed when Northumbrian Water themselves have drone footage on their website, they said they’d answer when I landed. Upon landing they just walked away saying nothing else. They passed me later and I again asked why Dones were not permitted but there was no signage and Northumbrian Water said nothing on their website. They told me drones were banned in Kielder including in airspace above. I advised them that was clearly incorrect as Northumbrian Water themselves use drone footage and they don’t own the airspace as that is CAA governed, to which I was ordered to leave Northumbrian Water land. I have written to Northumbrian Water to ask what their policy is.


I think they’ve already told you what their policy is, which they are entitled to have.

My understanding is that the CAA controls the airspace above 50 metres height; anything below that is a matter for the landowner.

I think you miss the point. They are absolutely entitled to restrict TOAL from their property and I have asked Northumbrian Water to confirm their position as the actions on one staff member in the absence of any notices or signage do not necessarily constitute Northumbrian Water policy and may be a staff member personal view.

Also the height is not a set measure In Bernstein of Leigh v Skyviews the High Court of England and Wales held that, at common law, the right of a landowner to the airspace above their land was “to such height as was necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of his land and the structures upon it”.

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Landowners do not control airspace at all. Yes certainly, if you are flying under 50m then possibly privacy or nuisance laws may come in to it, but wouldn’t have thought that would be an issue flying over a reservoir. The main point here is that Northumbrian Water do not allow drones, so you can’t TOAL from their property.

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Fair point, and you wouldn’t realistically be able to take off outside their land and fly in. You’d be unlikely to cause much of a nuisance in open country like that.

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I can’t find any documentation to back this up (I’ve only had a cursory glance).

We’re all law abiding here, but it is nice to know the rules, be it by sign or that new fangled interweb thing :wink:

A FOI request to Northumbrian Water should get you the answers you’re looking for. or they could just completely ignore it, which is more than likely what they’ll do.

I was just going on what the OP was told, didn’t actually check myself. I would though, if I ever wanted to fly there :grinning: :+1:

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@Tovarish332 is it Northumbria water land or forestry commission land …my son took some DSLR photos of a couple of waterfalls in the area and I was hoping to get a couple of drone photos at the same location but when I checked forestry England mention a very specific bylaw mentioning no model aircraft flying …it’s a bit like the NT scenario you can fly over but not TOAL