"No Drones" signs everywhere

I am a complete newbie - so much so that I haven’t flown a drone yet! I bought a drone last week hoping that it would compliment my photography business. Because the weather has been bad I haven’t’ flown it, but I have been making good with my time by reading manuals, watching YouTube videos and I have got my flying licence this morning.

Anyway, this morning dawned bright and dry so I thought I would take the drone for it’s first flight. I wanted to be away from anyone as I didn’t know what I was doing. I took the drone to a rocky outcrop miles from anywhere and getting out of the car I saw a sign ‘NO DRONES - it scares the cattle’. So I drove 5 miles away to another, smaller outcrop and again there was a sign saying ‘NO DRONES’ attached to a wall.

Never mind, I thought - I then drove along a country road with lovely views across to our big reservoir, nestled amongst some hill sand moorland. I parked at a layby and went through a gate onto the moorland with great views and then I saw it - someone had painted ‘NO DRONES’ in big yellow paint on the wall.

So I came home - very discouraged and disappointed. Despite reading the literature, my knowledge is still ‘shaky’ and although I think I can legally fly in these places, I didn’t want a stand up argument with some nasty landowner. I think the land is Common land, but I am not sure.

I guess from now on I will stick to designated ‘flying areas’ but this seems to take the fun out of it.

Does this thing with the ‘NO DRONES’ happen a lot - sort of makes me want to send the drone back.


Hi @jamesmhe and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

This sounds like bad luck more than anything :slight_smile:

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Welcome once again!

Heh welcome to the “newbie with a drone” life. I was exactly the same. I’m sure others will fill you in better than I can, but I’m 99% sure you can there. Go high to not annoy cows (and I know cows aren’t bothered by drones, wont tell you how I know…)

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Hi James, welcome from the Black Country.

Trust me mate, cows, sheep etc are not bothered by drones unless you’re actually next to their ears!
A couple of years ago, I was in the Lake District during 3 NATO exercises, one day 2 Apaches, 2 BlackHawks and 2 Ospreys came down the valley line astern at 50 feet(ish), low enough for the pilot of one of the Ospreys to wave at us. The sheep in the field just carried on munching the grass totally unbothered!

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the cows in this field were more interested in me than the drone flying around them

Nine times out of ten the ‘no drones’ signs have no legal standing - landowners don’t realise that they don’t own the airspace above their land

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you may find that with farms - farmers put signs up like that in the hope that would be farm equipment thieves’ cant case the place beforehand using a drone. How that logic works I have no idea .

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The no drone signs are usually like the “Don’t park here” signs that some people like to put at the front of their home, no legal basis at all for most of them. Unfortunately some people have been trained by the press to dislike drones and believe that they are flown by criminals of various varieties.

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It’s all down to common sense in my opinion. Would I be flying around the close vicinity of livestock, no.

Thank you - I avoid livestock when I am walking so that makes sense.

Oh, never thought of that…kinda makes sense somehow…thanks

Ah, thanks for that! Yes, I never thought of that one. Just didn’t want an angry farmer coming after me and not having the knowledge (yet) to stand up to him.

They don’t seem particularly frightened to me!

Yes, I thought it was a bit odd. I have seen drones flown in fields with cows and the animals just ignored the drones. I would have liked to see the aircraft in the lake District - I bet that was a sight!

Thank you for that, I guess I have a lot to learn too! I just didn’t want a confrontation with an angry farmer and be unsure of my rights. There is a lot of open moorland near me, good for training I suppose - but not much for scenery. Guess I will go there until I get a bit more confident!

Thank you. I will certainly do that!

Go a little bit south of Kirkby Stephen down the Eden Valley when there’s an exercise on (not weekends) and they’ll be there! There’s nearly always Typhoons, F35s and F15s as well.

Fantastic - will definitely try that. I knew about the one in Wales but didn’t know there were others. Thanks for that :blush:

Everywhere is a designated drone flying area, unless the CAA deem otherwise as they have sole control over who flies what, where and when. If it is not a FRZ (flight restriction zone) according to the Civil Aviation Authority, and is not covered by a NOTAM (notice to airmen) then go fly. The only thing they can do is prevent you from taking off or landing from their property, not over it. In that case, find a public road, footpath or similar and fill yer boots. Do be wary though of annoying/spooking livestock, it might land you in trouble. Stick to a decent height and don’t get too close, if you notice their behaviour change because of the drone then you are too close. Have fun on your next outing and remember to post your pics or video for us to see


Most of these confrontations are no-win situations, if I get confronted I will often just move on to another location. It isn’t very relaxing flying when angry Ken is shouting obscenities in your face even if you do have every right to fly there.

Fortunately you are likely to get more positive interactions from people who are interested in finding out about the drone than negative ones from ignoramuses who think they know the rules because they saw a picture of a drone in their daily paper alongside a story about it endangering the International Space Station.

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