Frustrated with rules & regulations

HI everyone. I’m new to the drone scene - bought a Mavic 2 Zoom a couple of weeks ago and I must say, I love flying, but I am finding it very frustrating with all the rules/regs and also the negative perception of drones in the community.

I live in Windsor, Berkshire, so the places to fly are limited (I’ve found runnymede pleasure ground and Eton Wick Fields). Both of which get very busy with dog walkers etc. So although I’m flying legally, i seem to just get snarled at and made to feel like a nuisance.

Having spent nearly £1400 on the drone and fly more kit plus insurance, I feel like returning the drone and getting my money back, as the stress of flying outweighs the pleasure of getting nice shots and enjoying it in general.

With the scene being so limited around where I live, the only time I think i’d get value from the drone is when I’m on holiday, and with that being typically 2-3 times a year, it feels like i’m not really getting all that much value from my investment.

Anyone feel similarly or have any advice before I pack it all up and send it back to DJI for a refund?



Well that sounds like a real shame. I must admit that I try in general to keep away from the “public” when I’ve been out with my drones. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where this is possible though.
You could try making contact with a local land owner and see if they’ll grant permission (maybe a small farm would be an idea) As for being snarled yet that could just be your own perception playing tricks on you but if you do feel you are being judged you could try the old photographers trick and wear an ID badge lanyard and a hi Viz vest. You’d be surprised how people suddenly become less interested if you look “official” Just make sure you are in an area where you are allowed to be. Best of luck.
PS most people think rights are there only to protect them and their own interests…we all have rights and we can all get on. :+1:


Thanks for the reply, much appreciate it.

I was at Epsom racecourse yesterday trying to get some shots of the horse racing… checked all the rules, regs & byelaws (or so i thought) only to having spent 90 mins in the car there and back to get about 2 mins in the air before shouted at by security and told to leave. I challenged the security guy but he brought his buddy over who was super aggressive and told me he was gonna call the police etc if i didn’t land and leave.

all in all just feel very let down and stressed by it all.

I used to live in Berkshire. I live in East Yorkshire now but I can suggest a few places.

Have you tried Windsor Great Park? It’s big enough.

I could give a few places in Bracknell which is where I am from.

  • The Look Out (Swinley Forest), maybe check with staff before flying
  • Mill Pond, Very quiet place and very scenic
  • Lillyhill Woods, Very quiet place

Actually Bracknell looks quite good. They have a simple web application


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Thanks Hazzar. Windsor great park is a no-go as there’s a byelaw for the entire park which includes swinley forest.
Will have a look at the other places you suggest - many thanks

I wouldn’t be surprised if you found that the racecourse is actually out of bounds for broadcasting rights reasons same as football stadium are. I’d suggest if you wish to film in places like that you should seek permission from the course management prior to the event. Your best bet is the press office and say it’s for personal use only but if it’s a race and rights have been sold you will not be granted permission.
Id also suggest that people are the main problem…find a permissable location and go very early or very late…if there’s no people there’s no one to complain. I hope you don’t give up best of luck with your future adventures :+1:


Thanks MrG. Lesson learned. Yes i think you’re right as the security guard I spoke to said they had problems with commercial drone operators live streaming their footage internationally for betting purposes as the normal stream was delayed so punters could profit on the race before the race was settled… makes sense why i was stopped


It can seem daunting starting out. Rules regs and bye laws etc.
Perseverance is the key.
Drone assist app helps to keep you in check and don’t forget You’ll find areas to fly along with overlays keeping you in check.
Be polite but not submissive if confronted.
Follow the drone code and stay out of no fly zones. Use bridleways etc to take off and land.
I always look for quiet places to take off and land. I occasionally use the race course in York. It’s very popular with dog walkers etc but pick the right time and I can find enough places there to keep to the 50m rule.
If you find yourself somewhere you shouldn’t be. Just apologise land and move on. It works for me.
Don’t give in. It’s a great hobby. Just use the system to your advantage.


Yes and I’m afraid without a commercial license you can’t even volunteer your services to the local press in exchange for a press badge as is sometimes the case with normal photography.

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My advice? 6am is your friend… (5am in the summer!) no peeps and great light


As you’re getting used to flying your £1400 bit of kit, maybe focus more on getting used to it, without trying too hard to get amazing shots yet.
The best bet by far is to stay far away from people, buildings and trees. ie fly in open countryside at first, so you get used to how it actually flies.
If you go anywhere near an event with more than 1,000 people then you need to stay 150 metres away from the edge of the people. If it’s a town or city, then again, 150 metres. In general, most land owners will say no to you asking them if it’s okay to fly, so I tend to take off from common land (ie a very quiet footpath or country lane laybye) and then fly where I want to fly.
Remember land owners can only tell you to stop flying from their land, but they can’t stop you flying over their land if you’re actually standing and controlling the drone off their land (like on a footpath adjacent to their land).
In 5 years, I’ve never had any genuine agro and only had a few interested people to are always amazed when you show them the screen and the view…
Don’t get frustrated; just choose your locations right… :slight_smile:



Very helpful thanks Ian. I think you’re right that location and timing are the keys here… I haven’t been willing to get up at ridiculous o’clock but perhaps I need to make that sacrifice with this hobby.



I wouldn’t let other peoples opinion spoil your flight so long as your flying within the rules there is naff all they can do or say.

Put your favourite song in your headphones and focus on your flight and photography.


The stay away from people rule has worked great for me :+1:


I work for the MOD and the rules for flights over the defence estate are very strict as you can imagine, even down to the brand of drone permitted (DJI are excluded) I tend to fly just outside the perimeter of our location and often get warned by the locals about the security implications. I haven even been warned by a local that if I flew over the fence line it would be automatically shot down.

It comes down to a lack of education. I am always polite and once I explain that I am on my lunch from working at the site they soon leave me be.


I am lucky enough to live in a area where I can get plenty of flight time. But in the start I just went out early and made sure people were no where near when I flew . Now I choose areas where a little driving to are required and I really want to fly in . Stick with it and enjoy

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Probably on racedays yes, Ive flown over at York, Beverley and Doncaster with no issues.

Football stadiums are all in DJI’s daft NFZ.

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Isn’t Doncaster course in the airport no fly zone? :thinking:


Oh according to the Official NATS app everything east of Doncaster town centre is in the Doncaster Sheffield Airport CTR Zone.