Norfolk people - Seals at Horsey?

I was having a think about this, do you think it’d be acceptable to fly this? I mean, if we’re high enough I can’t see how it would disturb them. I’m just thinking with near thousands of seals out on the beach, it could be a great opportunity for a rare photo or two.

I know we take a real gamble with the wind there, but surely it’d be worth it?

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I’m thinking of dropping these guys an email.

I don’t think they can stop us from everything I’ve read, but I don’t want to be treading on anyone’s toes and upsetting people unnecessarily.

Hi Tim,
If you look at the website, you can see on the 3rd video that they use a Drone, which is hovering not that high up from the seals.
If it was me I would contact them and say that you are a responsible flyer and are willing to upload the video you take to their Website…
And see what response you get.
If you get a negative response, it would be a self contradictory on there part.

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Also, be careful where you take off from as the NT own most of Horsey… but not the beach :slight_smile:

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And what about the Public Road (Horsey Road)
I don’t think so?

Nope, it probably wouldn’t disturb them in the slighest.

Use your judgement at the time as to the correct height / distance and you’ll be fine (and so will they)

I don’t know the area but i try and avoid asking questions and getting told no, as that makes it very difficult to go ahead and do it. Obviously I always fly responsibly but my motto is,
‘Sometimes it’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.’


Eg I once asked the Rolling Stones management if I could use two lines from a song in a business book. They said no so I was stuffed. I should have just used them!

Most animals get most twitchy about things that, historically, have predated on them. Seals will probably only be worried about things from their air when they have very young pups … and then they’ll probably dislike anything and everything on land or air.

Approach high, descend as far as you need - but go back up as soon as you detect any restlessness being caused - and I’d say you should be fine.


Hi all,

I’ve had a reply:

Thanks Tim.
I know that the landowner Robin Buxton and the other adjacent landowners have banned drones on their land which is the beach area above high water mark and all the land behind the sea wall/dunes.
It was because of a drone operator flying low least year which scared the pups and mums into the water. It was all recorded on YouTube. I must admit they did get very stressed.

Regrettably we cannot approve or refuse any filming as we are not the landowners and are just volunteers trying to protect the seals and educate the public during the pupping season.
Sorry I can’t be of much help.
Kindest regards.
David Vyse

So for that reason, I’m going to give it a miss. I’d rather not risk disturbing the seals.

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Hi Tim,
Nice to hear from you, Sensible decision you have made, I have though seen seals at Winterton as well, and the Beach is quite wide there to fly on.
He partly answered your question about flying by referring to High Water mark, which, suggests to me that he is aware of the “Crown Estates” right of access to the Beach area at Low Tide.
Still cannot understand why they have actively allowed drone footage on there Website ,I view of his response to you, a bit of double standards there I fear !.


I read it as “we can’t tell you not too, but here’s what’s happened before”. I don’t want to upset the seals more than anything else.

So I may have to wait and have a think about where to fly instead :slight_smile:


Wise choice I think.

I thought about it but then decided that even if it is safe, they are high profile, there have been well
publicised instances of idiots upsetting the animals and there are too many drone vigilantes about that would only see it as an opportunity for a headline and fifteen minutes of fame. Not worth the hassle.

Still not forgotten about that beer btw…

Us Norfolk Tribe are gonna have to meet up for a Christmas Bevvy (or 2 ,or 3 !)
PfCo chief topic !.
P.S. I totally agree with all your comments, leave the seals in peace !.

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