Flying from public walkways in the countryside


HI there,

I was wondering if anyone knows if it’s ok to fly from a public walkway. There is a farm that backs onto the river with a public walkway along the river. If I stay 50m from anyone can I takeoff from the path or would I have to seek the farmers permission?



If the footpath is on his land then I would go and talk to him and certainly engage him in conversation and be friendly and give them an opportunity to form a positive opinion of our hobby. Even if it’s adjacent to his land it wouldn’t hurt, if your drone comes down on his land at least you would be able to fetch it or even film what they are doing in the fields with his blessing. The best way to piss someone off is to just help yourself and pay no attention to them or their belongings. Not necessarily the correct answer but I always think your best course of action is what feels right


Thanks for the reply. You’re right, I just need to find the farmers house! Finding contact details for landowners is proving difficult so I’ve stuck to parks and nature reserves with permission from the council responsible.


I find that farmers are a nightmare to deal with. They seem to sublet their fields out to each other!! The nearest farm might not be the landowner or user. But we’ll worth a try and certainly won’t harm the hobby, he might even let you film him ploughing/harvesting the fields when you get to know him. Just watch out for guard dogs on the farm.


I work with farmers every day and yes they are certainly a breed apart. There are definitely some pretty big arseholes but that is the same in every walk of life. Most farmers are just at the end of their tether with folks wandering about on their property, dogs running around off the lead, shitting all over the fields and chasing the stock. Pikey’s and low life’s illegally dumping in every gateway and running over the fields at night lamping and setting hay stacks alight. People seem to think that they have a god given right to treat farm land as an extension of their own property and treat the land owner accordingly. The vast majority of farmers are not the popular idea of land owning gentry swanning around in a Land Rover whipping the yokels but are in fact living at or below the poverty line scrapping a living and quite often holding down a second full time job to make ends meet. You are far more likely to get trapped and questioned to death and asked about everything and everyone you know from a chap that rarely sees anyone else and never gets off the farm than anything else. If he says no then what have you lost? If he says yes then when you are out and inevitably some busy body starts telling you what you can and can’t do then you can at least say well “Bob says it’s ok” which will shut them right up.


Well put!


I agree. The farmers I deal with are fantastic and very helpful, I haven’t come across a bad one yet. What I meant is that they can be a nightmare finding out who actually uses that particular bit of land, because they rent it out to each other. Many is the time I’ve knocked on a farm door only to be told that he lets out the field to a mate across the way, who then let’s it out to another pal. Getting hold of them is a nightmare as they seem to be never in. So if you intend to fly, make sure you are prepared to set aside a day or two just to find out who owns what.


Amen to that my brother :+1:t2:

Indeed, it’s almost impossible…

As suggested above, knock on the door of the house nearest the area you want to fly.

Don’t say, “Can I fly my drone over your fields…?”

Instead say something like, “I’m really in to aerial photography and would love to take some photos of your land, I’ll happily email you any photos I take from the air too!”

You’ll soon get them on side :smiley: