New Forest

Thought I woud nip down to the New Forest for a flight given the amount of restricted airspace near where I live.

No prohibits shown on the NATS maps yet my google search reulted in this:

Drone flying in the New Forest . The use of drones , or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are not permitted on or over New Forest Crown land as part of our byelaws. In our experience, very few users have the correct training or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate drones .14 Sep 2018

What is the law here? All advice welcome.



Chann, when I looked into it they do ‘control’ most of the public space so, I understand, can ban drone take off and landings. If its in their actual bylaws that really tightens this up. However, their own website makes clear that they understand that they cannot stop people from taking off and landing on private property and then the general rules would apply regarding that they don’t own the airspace.

I believe @OzoneVibe / Dave made a point that they don’t own the roads!

With such a large area of land it’s an interesting one. I am sure others will have views


I’ve not had problems, but then I’ve not flown popular places where chances are someone would have a moan.

Indeed - private land is OK for taking off and landing. (A pub has allowed me to use the very end of their beer garden … when there was nobody about.)

Not tested - but Hants County Council or New Forest Borough Council own all the roads … and I’ve use really quiet ones, and eve a busy one when there was a good vision each way and a good gap in the traffic.

There was an old adage about children, that “they should be seen and not heard”. With my drone I try and take that one step further when flying in places where, even if totally legal, there’s a chance of someone being a jobsworth or a negative member of the public.


Thanks. Great advice.

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For many years and without knowing their “no drone” policy I flew at Stoney Cross and was never stopped or bothered. However I once put the drone up in a random car park in forest and instantly heard an officious lady’s voice shouting “PLEASE TAKE THAT DOWN NOW!!!” While I never saw her, I duly landed and left. Very silly and I progressive rule probably made up by some fuddy nimbies on a committee somewhere, but hey ho!

If you’ve got a PFCO you can get a permit to fly on forestry land.




That’s useful to know :+1:

Well, in the end I went into the forest. Parked and walked a while to a very quite area with just me and my air. I think I was just outside the northern edge of the crown land, given I had not passed the forrestry commision sign.

Spent a while doing all my checks, lifted, hit record to be told NO SD card… Doh! Another lesson, checks begin at home.

Still another 2 batteries worth of practice.


You’re definitely not the first to forget their SD card - and won’t be the last.
I have spares everywhere - but also have a routine of “take one out and put another in” … even if 10 minutes later I put the original back again.

Same with all my digital cameras.


This is one issue that scares me :scream: a little as a newbie drone flyer. It’s really frustrating trying to find somewhere legal to fly. Everyone seems to have a blanket ban of drone flying. :exploding_head: I thought that no drone flying was allowed at all in the New Forest. :thinking:

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I am totally new to the scene myself Mark. Hoping to remain legal, I used google and found the forest commission link above. This led to my questions on the forum.

Eventually I used the map (the one you have posted) to locate a small piece of ground to the north of that light blue area, but within the forest (I think).

It is more difficult to find a place to fly than I imagined prior to spending out on the drone, but I see many others managing and believe that I will find a few spots locally that will provide me with enough airspace to have fun.


Don’t forget that you get 8gb memory with the Mavic Air.

Strange thing for me this week, I had forgotten to format card and internal so had rune out of all memory so the GO4 app starting to record to my phone, though only realised later when landed


Interesting that Forestry Commission England has a different policy to Forestry Commission Scotland. I was out at Carron Valley Reservoir the other week and while it ended up being too windy to fly. FCS says the following, delegating the understanding too the CAA, like it should be done.



I recall a thread some while back where one of our members (@Davester70) took FCS to task about what they had on their website … and it changed to the current wording.

You can read his input here :

Oh dear! Forestry Commission Scotland out of bounds? - #11 by Davester70

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That makes so much more sense - Grown up rules that people can easily (and therefore will) follow. Well done to Dave @Davester70 for taking on the challenge and winning to get a sensible rule put in place.

It was only because I decided to look for areas to fly via google that I found out about the commissions restriction. The NATS app shows the area as being flyable and we are all guided to the CAA/NATS app to follow.

When I get some time and experience, I think that I will look deeper into this. If it can be achieved in Scotland then there is the potential to do the same here. Especially as the forest ‘with so much open space’ is on my doorstep.


There are different laws regarding the right to roam and air space in Scotland … factors that were used in that superb effort to get FCS to change the wording on their site … and these don’t apply in England.

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Oh bugger (or words to that effect) :disappointed_relieved:


Yep, it was all to do with the Land Reform Act, and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code that’s basically a ‘user guide’ for us average joes on how we can access the countryside.

As part of ARPAS-UK, we’re currently engaging with Scottish Natural Heritage on adding some specific drone-related wording to the SOAC, so that it’s clear to all Scottish drone users how responsible access that’s guaranteed under the LRF relates to them.

To be fair to the Forestry Commission, they were pretty good during the engagement process, and commendably quick in amending their wording.

For droners south of the border I don’t think there’s an equivalent to the LRF - I’m not up to speed on trespass laws etc. I suspect it’ll take some work to get changes to access anywhere - but that’s not to say it’s not worth trying :slight_smile:


Thanks for that concise summary of the differences, Dave. :+1:

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No worries - it’s tea break time just now, so I had the time :slight_smile:

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