NT Bye Laws

For those interested in flying in the vicinity of National Trust sites, I have just found the following - details of the Bye Laws that apply to NT properties. https://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/documents/the-national-trust-byelaws-1965.pdf

These Bye Laws are quoted by NT as the substantiation for not permitting the use of drones on OR over NT properties. I’ve had a good look through the document and cannot find any reference to drone whatsoever. The nearest “hit” is the term “conveyance” either by land or air.

Anyway - what I believe is the most interesting section is “Penalties for Infringement of Byelaws - Para 26” It would appear that the maximum penalty for infringing their Bye Law is a maximum of £20 - compared to NT fees for an official permit, I would suggest the penalty is a bargain :flushed: :grinning: :+1: :+1: :+1:

I’m not sure you can be sure that is still the penalty although I guess there’s one way to find out for sure! The main bye-law that’s relevant is 24: it is illegal to overfly NT land if you cause annoyance, nuisance, disturbance, interruption or accidentally knock over anyone’s cup of tea. Bye-law 17 is also the one they use to prohibit commercial photography.

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Putting on my pedant hat - Para 24 states "No person shall on Trust Property… et etc "

  • technically you are not ON Trust Property if over flying ------- :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
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What we need is a test case! :laughing:

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I don’t drink tea, but a ranger or member of staff is more likely to knock my coffee over with a leaf blower than a drone cause interruption. :joy:


Bylaw 11 is the actual one that seems to prohibit aircraft.
However, I am uncertain to what height a property ‘owns’ the airspace directly above it.
If the height of airwave owned is actually <400 feet then there should be no reason why you can’t fly over it.
As for taking a picture on this flight bylaw 17 says no photos ‘on’ Trust property can be taken, so any photos in free airspace would be ok.
So it all comes down to how much airspace do you own above you.

But do they prohibit the general public from taking photos with a normal camera or phone? No! Therefore this sets a precedent if a test case was ever to come up that their reasoning on that is flawed. So they would not be able to use that.

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I believe they have been known to issue legal letters if they discover you are selling those photos, though. There was a lengthy discussion here although it didn’t shed much more light. There’s a letter from the NT half-way down this discussion thread which is probably the clearest version of their policy that I’ve seen.

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Easy answer to that one!, You do not own/control any airspace, the CAA do.

The trouble with NT and i am a member may i add . Is they are hypocrits . I go to a NT property just about every week . I take a big Foook off camera and take pictures . Nothing is said . Absolutely nothing . They even encourage you to send your pics to the NT site …
I post all my pics and vids on line . Nothing is said .
I take a drone then the full wrath comes down on me …
The NT are nothing without me and thousands of others like me paying for membership each year and also the public who pay the top fee who are not members .
If we stop paying they go under It’s as simple as that . We pay to keep them going .
You would have thought they would have a little leeway . But sadly not .
I have a an idea . This is just an idea .
why not get on board and make some extra cash . Let us fly even for a small fee throughout the summer months , When we have the light . They close their properties at 6 and loads of light left . Maximum of say 5 at a time . No one around .
What would be the problem .
The NT is run and controlled by a bunch of left swinging gang who hate everyone outside they’re bubble .
And this is from a member …


Now that is the issue ! they say its a gdpr issue but how many drone cameras can take a persons face at 50 metres! how many iphone pictures can you see the persons face at 5 feet ! it tosh mate ! nothing to do with gdpr or upsetting nesting wildlife its rubish

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Not actually true. You do own the airspace directly above your land, that’s why you can build a skyscraper on it, subject to planning permission, and why others can’t build a bridge above your garden without your agreement. You have legal rights over that airspace up to a certain height, above which you have no control. There is no exact height set in law - the legal test is what is reasonable.

See for example https://www.airspacedeveloper.co.uk/2018/04/10/airspace-rights-faqs.

I agree . If i take a pic with my Canon camera of a scene and people are walking within my view . The people don’t give a toss. If i did the same with a drone i get burnt at the stake for being a witch … Burn the witch . Burn the witch …


That reputation used to belong to the average DLSR user. I was unaware that the baton had passed on to drone user.

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The strangest thing happened to me today when out trying to get the drone to talk to the dji go software a guy came up to me in the middle of nowhere and said to be you look like your a responsible flyer !response was well. we all have to abibe by the laws set out in the air navigation order ! his response im glad you have to register now hopefully it will stop isis dropping packages on airports? my response its to stop anyone acting in a dangerous manner. where do these people come from?

sorry for the off topic response

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wow your brave making a statement like that ? even in jest?

I think this needs looking at very carefully. Whilst I too would would dearly like to fly over and around some NT properties and legally I agree that they can’t stop flying provided you do not take off or land from their property. As far as I’m aware nobody owns the airspace above their property, even down to roof level, so yes in theory you can overfly above 50m. The CAA legislate what the airspace can be used for with the agreement of Parliament.
Playing devils advocate I can to some extent see their point. You only have to look through the drone forums to see how many people crash or lose theire drones for some reason or other, generally because they don’t check things correctly before taking off. Having a PfCO doesn’t necessarily mean that they are competent. I have seen a team from a National Park trying to get a Matrice 600 of the ground. Not a clue and when they did finally get it in the air it was all over the place.
We all like to think we are good pilots, just like we are all good drivers, but occasionally things go wrong for unknown reasons. About a year ago some emergency service Matrice 200s were dropping out of the sky and the CAA advised not to fly them. Turned out to be a fault in a particular DJI battery firmware so they were temporily grounded.
So it is really worth the hassle? The NT are a rich organisation with the backing generally of the establishment so I would think it’s pretty unlikely anyone is going to win a court case.
All it would acheive is more bad press for drones generally.


Good on you mate . Keep the perverting reputation alive .

People believe what they want to believe mate.

Facts never get in the way of a good yarn…

unfortunately i agree and see where your tongue in cheek remark came from