Midlands - where can I fly?

I live in the Midlands and am looking for ‘approved’ places to fly. I bought a Mavic Pro and Air a couple of months ago and am just getting the hang of flying and all of the capabilities and features of my aircraft. I am 57 years old and consider myself to be a responsible person, and want to abide by the law and show consideration for other people while persuing my new hobby. I have started flying in the farm fields behind my house which is in a small village near Hinckley. I launch from a public bridle path and obey the DroneCode and check the area (and file a plan) in NATS Drone Assist ,which simply says follow the drone code.

Several people have asked me what I was doing and I explained and asked if I was causing them any concerns. Everyone has been very interested and was surprisingly supportive … until last Friday evening when I was approached by 2 men who told me they were off duty police officers but showed no identification and said that I cannot fly there without permission from the Parish Council, and if I continue they will call the uniform police. It was late and in a secluded area, getting dark and the gentlemen were rather intimidating, so I just packed up and left. I wanted to call their bluff but didn’t think it was worth the hassle.

I will write to the police and the Parish Council to report the ‘incident’ and confirm required permissions but I don’t want to cause anyone any offence or discomfort so will find somewhere else to fly. The question is where? There is a lot of guidance about places people think are OK but it would be great if we can positively identify places that are OK, maybe start a list here and if so maybe organise some meets? I am unsure how to identify the land owners to request permission, much of the land is let and not owned by the tenants - any tips would be appreciated.

I’d really like to fly with someone else (my partner isn’t interested) - I have Moverios and DJI goggles so a like minded spotter in the area to share and take turns with would be really great.

This forum has been a great support so far in my research and ‘flight training’ . This is my first post, so I’d just like to say thanks to everyone in the community for the excellent information and discussions.



I see there is a database of sorts already on this site, but I am unsure whether these are confirmed locations, or if the user has taken just taken a chance. If permissions are needed for a site it would be helpful if we knew which authorities or owners to make the a formal request to or a way to contact the poster for these details. I expect I am dreaming to have such a resource, but this confrontation has made me a bit nervous …

There’s no approved places, only places which are forbidden.

Generally if you are 5km from any airport, 50m from any person or structure and 150m from built up area you are good to go.

If you are taking off from public propery you are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Oh, and welcome to the forum


Thank you for this guidance. I intend to take a copy of the drone code and the CAA Information for the public about drones with me on every trip. I wont fly where I am not wanted, so given this advice I should be able to find plenty of places to fly.

@callum 's right … you were trying to slice up the cake starting with the crumbs. :wink:

  1. DJI drones, on up-to-date software - won’t let you fly in most of the obviously daft/dangerous places.
    See : https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map - but it’s a global, simplistic approach that doesn’t take national air law and airspace into account. (The Mavic would need a massive memory to have it all, and updates would drive us all mad!)

  2. UK Air Law tells you what areas in the UK are controlled and/or no-fly zones (over prisons and the like). The AirMap app (amongst others) is good for this, and moderately good at indicating temporary restrictions. (Air Shows, etc - covered by what are referred to as NOTAMS … Notices to Airmen.)

  3. And then, on top of these, are the UK rules that pertain to the flying of drones in the UK generally - of which Callum has given the key ones.

I then impose my own “Don’t fly in a way that will piss other people off” rule … remember, it’s only us that don’t get annoyed by the sound of the things. :wink:

Thanks - this is making me feel more confident. I have also purchased FPVUK membership for public liability cover and will carry a copy of the certificate as well. If I try and vary my locations frequently I guess I am less likely to cause an annoyance to anyone. On reflection, I must admit in my enthusiasm to learn, I have been flying this location pretty exclusively for last few weeks whenever the weather permitted, so may have just attracted too much (busybody) attention. Lesson learned.



Hi @Davo_101 and welcome to Grey Arrows :smiley:

Just to echo what @callum and @OzoneVibe have said really, sound advice :+1:

You’ll find quite a few of us here at GADC have also signed up to FPVUK for their liability insurance :wink:

Sorry to hear about your run in, those two blokes sound proper dodgy though if they threatened to call the ‘real’ police?!

Try not to be put off though, this hobby is sooooo much fun :+1:

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I am not going to be put off, having invested in 2 drones and some expensive accessories. I am having a lot of fun but am a bit paranoid about respecting rules but there is so much uncertainty and lack of public information and drones have had a lot of negative press recently. I will try and be an ambassador for the hobby and promote safe and respectful flying whenever I can.

Thanks again for the helpful advice and encouragement.


Welcome, All the people i have come across while flying have been really interested, especially in the distance i go and how fast my bird can go. I have it tweaked a bit… hehe… but as said, fly responsibly and there should be no worries. i was flying near an RAF base, and just unlocked through the DJI page and all was good. Just enjoy it…

Even the police seem very unclear on drone laws, you commented on my post on mavicpilots forums where I was also approached by a local homeowner who was an off duty policeman.

I just wanted to add that it seems the two men who approached you either were impersonating police, or had absolutely no idea of the law, which is very possible as I say. Considering your parish council have said they aren’t aware of any local drone restrictions it seems like some police are just assuming that its illegal to fly anywhere that’s not your property, which is completely incorrect. The guy who approached me said they’re prosecuting people now, but I think he was referring to flying in cities, over stadiums, airports and delivering stuff to prisoners by drone, rather than people who are following the drone code and taking off/landing from publicly accessible spaces.

I think you’re doing the right thing by getting an official response from the local authority, I would also ask the police maybe directly, just so that you definitely have the law on your side if anything arises, and you can then carry around the police response on paper to show people!

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Thank you. I intend to do exactly this when I have the decision from the PC on Monday. I will update status here in the hope that this experience will help as a reference for others who may encounter a similar encounter :slight_smile:

Even if the final outcome is a blanket ban in the area this will have been a useful exercise and the rules here will be unambiguous.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice and support.


That’s just not possible :slight_smile:

Can’t ban blankets!!! :stuck_out_tongue:
(Silly post beer post … )