Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth "cannot take pictures"

I decided to go up Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth today to get some shots over Portsmouth and on the way stopped at Fort Purbrook,

So, I check flight assistant app all looked good to fly weather has been nice today perfect conditions so I get the drone out and within 5 minutes the receptionist comes and says, “you can fly but sorry no pointing at the Fort!” I was so taken back even though I am ready for this after watching auditor YouTube videos that I just froze and didn’t know what to say.

Has anyone else who has had situations like this how did your first encounter go? What did you say? Next time I’m not going to be so polite :laughing:

Couple of options

1 - Tell them no photos are being taken.
2 - Try to educate on the rules.
3 - Apologise land and leave.
4 - Tell them to fuck off.

Perhaps a poll ;o)

(4 would be my instant answer)


Do they ban people from taking photos with their mobile phones too?

Mate I just spat my tea over the desk when I read out number 4. Needed a laugh cheers.

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Love it :smile::smile::smile:

Personally I would try number 2 first. And as a last sort number 4. But that also depends on the manner they approached me in the first place. They might swap about.
You were doing nothing illegal, tell them so.

Why would you not be allowed to point at the Fort and how would she know if you were pointing your drone at the fort :man_shrugging: :man_shrugging:

Google Earth “points” at the Fort and gives some pretty good views of the place even down to the canoes on the lawn - maybe she should have a word with them too :joy: :joy:

If I am right the Fort is run as a “Peter Ashley Activity Centre” and they rent for Portsmouth Council. there is nothing secret or classified at the Fort, and there is certainly nothing to prevent you from taking pictures from the roadside with your mobile.

The airspace above the Fort is not theirs to control. They can request that you maintain a decent altitude to stop upsetting the horses at the riding school and they can refuse you permission to take off or land on the area of ground that they control. They may consider themselves in loco parentis and be fearful of you taking pictures of the minors who use the activity centre or they may consider that you arte flying low enough to invade privacy.

They need educating in drone laws and in the laws pertaining to photography and privacy. Politeness and print outs are your best recourse. If they persist in their attitude then there are a fair few of us in the Portsmouth area who would love to take pictures of on of “Palmerston’s Follies”

FUCK OFF! always sounds impressive from a multitude of voices :slight_smile:


Different places …

Peter Ashley run both.

If you click the link the first thing you see is the header picture - an aerial view of the fort! :slight_smile:

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Yes I did notice it was an activity centre when I approached the Fort that’s why I double checked the flight assistant app to see if there was any restrictions in place which there are none.

There was also no activities going on place looked empty apart from the staff so I assume this place is mostly used on the weekends or when schools are in holiday.

I have contacted the activity centre to try educate her staff on the rules and so far no reply shock horror.

“just take the pictures” it’s not like you’re doing a Donald Trump… :roll_eyes:

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5 - Tell them, “If you’re another Karen, I can tell you, I don’t have the patience. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills , skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let me fly my drone, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you”.

Slowly and very painfully(to add a bit of drama).


Sorry I had too :smile: @clinkadink

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So I received this today, so do they control the airspace now?

No, they don’t. I have a strong suspicion that this goes back years to the days when photography wasn’t allowed at EH and NT sites but you could buy a souvenir guidebook or a set of slides at the gift shop. Woodmansterne seemed to be the preferred company to supply images. Or you could be a cheapskate and just buy a postcard.

They seem to regard the properties they manage on behalf of “the nation” (that’s us though, isnt it?) are their intellectual property and, having lost the battle with terrestrial photography, they are jealously guarding the rights to aerial images.

Of course it isn’t necessary to overfly a site to take an oblique image of it so I don’t see how they can prevent you doing just that. Or you may be taking pictures of Crookhorn Golf Course and the fort just happens to get in the way - right in the centre of your carefully composed image :slight_smile: