Kidwelly Castle Challenge

TLDR: Got berated, took images anyway as doing nothing wrong and sharing with you guys even if they are dross! p.s. they aren’t :smiley:

So this photo is the result of the first time I have had any aggro from anybody when flying my drone and that includes the nerd that thought it was funny to start an half hour chat with me by moaning about how noisy my drone was.

But, back to topic. I popped in to what has become an annual event, TWSC (aka Team Waste Summer Camp) at a friends down St Clears way and had already planned this shoot on my way home. I started by contacting Pembrey Airport as the castle sits within its FRZ (just). They are what could be called, at best, a part time airport but official hours are Mon-Fri 09:00 to 17:30 and I was shooting at 19:30 on a Sunday of a BH weekend. They had no issues and no other, that I could find, flight restrictions were or are in place. Additionally, at that hour the castle was closed.

But I didn’t count on Mrs Busybody staff member working late and coming out to berate me that ‘if I share my imagery on social media then they will find out and police will track me down and “do stuff” (what that stuff is was never revealed)’ I tried to explain that I had permission, that I also ran the latest version of my software which would not allow me to takeoff in a no-fly zone and that I was complying with all current laws / rules / regulations (more than 50m from structures, not over 120m max, nobody within, well nobody but me around, etc) but Mrs B wasn’t having it. Apparently they are working in direct conjunction with the CAA, she has the regs on her desk, and police have prosecuted. Best bit is, she said I couldn’t fly over because it is ‘a “government building” and I wouldn’t fly over the tax office’ - well she’s right there, the tax office in Cardiff is a boring, soulless multi storey pile of modern s%^UI without even thinking about the nature of the built up area, etc… She even threatened to call the police and my response was to ‘please do’. I was happy to share my flight plan, my imagery and even my confirmation eMail from the airport. Instead, she just stomped off muttering at me so I threw a “I can’t hear you because you’re at the top of a hill and walking away from me” comment. Made me feel somewhat gratified :wink:

None of this blather worried me but it was her complete intransigence that did my skull in so after my flight I double checked some stuff.

  • nowhere can I find a reference to anybody being prosecuted for a drone flight over or by Kidwelly Castle
  • there are already a multitude of drone shots of the castle online: ( Google search )

So, I wasn’t bothered before but even if the images had turned out as pure dross I would still be posting them. You guys get the benefit of being first to see…

[fx: blows raspberry and sticks tongue out]


So … a #GKCMMUC it is then! Date? Time?

(GADC Kidwelly Castle Mass Meet-Up Challenge :wink:)


Virtually all ancient monuments/buildings in Wales are under the control of Cadw - and just like NT they have a total no drone policy. The zones used to show up on NATS as blue circles but they seem to have disappeared. Not sure if they have any bye laws in place. This an extract from the Cadw write up on Kidwelly Castle

“Cadw do not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.”

I really do think its well overdue that this situation is clarified for all. We all know that we need permission to take off or land on private property but, as a hobbyist, what is the legal position with such outfits as Cadw and NT.

PS - I think your shot of Kidwelly is magnificent :+1::+1::+1:

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Glad I am not the only member who has been hassled be officials at a venue.
When are these prats going to realise that the drone code shoots them in the foot!.
The CAA have clearly stated that “they do not own the airspace” so as far as I am concerned, take off from a Public space, and fly the ferk out of it!.
I can tell you, it ain’t gonna stop me !.


As any lawyer will tell you, this stuff will only get clarified when taken to court. So just invite them to call the police and to take whatever legal action they think is appropriate. Unless they have by-laws in place, if you are flying over their land, it could be trespass, but basically only if you are flying low and causing a nuisance, see advice to landowners here:


Oooh! You’ve shared it on social media! (GADC is social, isn’t it?) I’m telling the Heddlu on you!

It’s a great picture and theoretically you could try and sell it to a magazine or a postcard manufacturer and thus deprive Cadw of income. But realistaically? All it has done is drawn my attention to another place in Wales that I want to visit, as long as the admission and parking charges aren’t hideously expensive.


No idea about admission but parking is free. It’s a tiny car park but there is an unofficial one that is also free and the surrounding streets are also free.

Indeed. But just because they have a policy it doesn’t make them right. The prevailing “advice” (for want of a better phrase) is as I’m sure you know … if you take off / land from public property or private with permission and abide by the drone code then you can fly over.

For clarity, I was stood on public land for my take off and landing. Originally I was going to be on the other side of the river which is about 30ft from the footpath you see at the bottom of the image and I would still have been well within VLOS, etc and this woman would never have been able to harangue me. Hah, next time then :slight_smile:

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An interesting read - thanks. I’d never heard of the CLA before but the author of that document was using, IMO, deliberately inflammatory wording by calling them drones with “surveillance equipment”. This and other docs of their ilk never address the fact that I can probably get similar and more invasive imagery with my camera or phone or video camera.

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I love Google translate for such situations.

mynd ffwcio eich hun

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I was rather enjoying not joining you in that club. Do GADC have a badge for this yet? :rofl::rofl:

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@stubbyd - not for one minute suggesting you did anything wrong Stuart - I just get so fed up with these organisations getting away with publishing all the bollocks about not being legal to fly over “THEIR” property. I know the area quite well so I could tell from your shot you were doing nothing wrong. I incorrectly stated that the NATS app used to show CADW sites as no fly zones - its actually the site that gives this info - what bothers me more is that this site invites you to contact them if you’re fed up of drones flying over your land/business and they will mark it up on their map ---- quote :

“Tired of drones flying over your land, business or home? Our site, which is viewed over 10,000 times a month by prospective drone operators, could help alleviate nuisance drones flying in your area. By adding your own personal “no fly zone” to our map you ensure drone operators using our site think twice before operating.”

Add your own personal no fly zone — WTF - must go and lie down in a dark room …:rage::rage::rage:


Depressing isn’t it.

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( this website an official government website?, if not then it’s illegal then isn’t? they can’t just add FRZ because they just want to. can we report this website so they can put it down?

The good thing about the CLA advice note is they are basically acknowledging that there’s very little that landowners can do about overflying drones - it’s refreshingly honest amongst lots of complete guff on the subject.


I don’t see how it can be illegal.

I’m guessing they are using publicly available data and re-displaying it. So long as they haven’t introduced inaccuracies or implied that any extra info they’ve added is “official” then I’m not sure it is even remotely illegal. That said, IANAL.

Whilst the site may well be legal, I would suggest they are intentionally trying to mislead drone pilots. They have grouped Private Land - By-Laws & Requested Zones under one colour key. Private Land and Requested Zones are easy to deal with but By-Laws makes it a very different kettle of fish. Still pouting :rage::joy::joy::joy:

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Private land and requested sites should be categorised by some pukey colour to signify drone haters :rofl::rofl::angry:


Now we’re getting somewhere :+1::+1::+1:

Great shot, you should send it to “visit wales’ and see if they repost in on social media :rofl::rofl::rofl: