Following on from the great NT bylaw/policy debate and my recent flight with permission at Layer Marney Tower I have contacted a number of privately owned historic properties in East Anglia asking for permission to fly on and over their land.
Three replies so far and all have say NO with Holkham Hall being one.
Dear Mr ****
Thank you for your email. As requested here is a link to our drone policy:
If there is anything else that we can help with please do get in touch.
Drones on Holkham Estate
With an increase in enquiries and interest in the use of drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to film or photograph Holkham Estate and land, we need to be careful to balance these possibilities with the need to protect and conserve the land and buildings and to ensure safety for our visitors and wildlife.
We will not grant permission to fly for amateur or student filming or approve requests from any fliers who seek permission in return for access and use of the footage obtained. The use of UAVs or drones is not permitted on or over any Holkham land without prior written approval. If use is approved by Holkham Estate then the following conditions will apply.
Drone Flight Conditions (If Approved)
All operators must hold the following:
- A current and valid CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ (PFCO) licence.
- Evidence of valid insurance cover with a minimum of £5million cover.
- A risk assessment for the proposed flight.
- A method statement outlining what equipment will be used.
- A flight plan outlining where flying is proposed.
All drone operations must be conducted strictly in accordance with CAA legislation and regulations, two elements to draw attention to below:
- UAVs/drones are not permitted to be flown within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.
- UAVs/drones should not be flown within 50 metres of any person except during take-off or landing or within 30 metres of any person except for the person in charge of the aircraft.
If you are interested in flying a drone/UAV for filming on the Holkham Estate, please contact Holkham Estate’s Location Managers to discuss your project. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Whilst I fully accept that you have every right to restrict the take off and landing of UAV’s on your property as well as the right to take still and moving images I would like to point out that you cannot regulate the airspace above it. Only specific bylaws, PSPO’s and the CAA can do that through NFZ’s and FRZ’s. If for example a pilot took off from a public place 1.5 miles away (the drone I use has a max distance of 6 miles) and flew over your property at anywhere from 100ft to 400ft it would be perfectly legal and any images or video taken would be the sole property of the pilot who’s taken it. Image rights would be the same as any taken on public land on the ground. On your land however, that’s a whole different matter.
I’d also point out that your policy is somewhat out of date with regards to the CAA Drone Code regulations (CAP722 Edition 8) and specifically the use of sub 250gm UAV’s, including those fitted with a camera. With the change in regulations that came into effect on January 1st 2021 if your drone weighs less that 250 gms there is no minimum distance from either uninvolved people or properties. I attach the relevant pages from the new CAA Drone Code.
I understand the changes in regulation may cause one or two issues for estates such as yours which is why I reached out to you and asked permission in the first instance.
Essex on Film
This is going to become an every increasing problem for owners and estates going forward. If you come up against such policies that hold no water in law please take the time to try and politely educate those concerned otherwise all responsible drone pilots will end up suffering the bad press that could be generated by one property landowner that’s not aware.
Anyway, sorry for the long post but I’m a little passionate about this particular subject. We as drone pilots have rights too and just like muscles, use them or lose them
Do you just accept what you’re told regardless of the actual law?