We reached out to National Trust, hoping to change their stance on drones

The National Trust stance on the use of drones from their land is well documented here on our discussion forum.

However, given the incredible safety record of drones, we were hoping to engage and work with National Trust to see if we could change their stance.

We reached out them recently with a view of inviting them to meet with us in a bid to work together to help change their policy and allow safe, controlled, and regulated flights from their land, without upsetting any of their members or putting any of the general public at risk.

Sadly, they weren’t willing to engage with us at all :pensive:

Here’s what they had to say (names and job titles redacted, to protect the privacy of the individuals involved).


The initial email we sent:


They replied with:

On 25 Mar 2024, at 10:11, National Trust Customer Service <enquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk> wrote:

Dear [_________],

Thank you very much for your email of 22nd March about our drones policy. We’re always grateful to hear from our members and supporters.

As you will see I have copied your email in to our Outdoor and Natural Resources department, as they are best placed to look into this and respond to you; I am sure they will contact you soon.

If you need to contact them directly with any follow up enquiry, you can email them direct at Land&NatureEnquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk, and further contact details can be found in our Handbook, app or website.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us, as well as for your support of the National Trust.

If you do need to get back in touch with us about this, please make sure to respond back to my email and not send a brand new one to us. That way our full email conversation will be kept together, and we can continue to best support you with looking into your enquiry further.

Kind regards
Supporter Services Centre
National Trust


We replied, hoping to keep them keen.

On 25 Mar 2024, at 10:15, [_________] <[_________]@greyarro.ws> wrote:

Morning [_________],

Thank you for forwarding my email on to the Outdoor and Natural Resources department.

My team and I very much look forward to hearing from them in due course.

With regards,

E: [_________]@greyarro.ws
W: https://GreyArro.ws
W: https://DroneScene.co.uk
A: Grey Arrows Drone Club, Unity House, Westwood Park Drive, Wigan, WN3 4HE

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Sounded promising!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t :pensive:

On 28 Mar 2024, at 15:51, Land & Nature Enquiries Land&NatureEnquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk wrote:

Dear [_________],

Thank you for your thoughtful proposal. We appreciate the time and effort you have given to this issue and your offer of collaboration.

Our policy for public operation of drones from our places is based on careful consideration of a range of issues, including risk, potential disturbance to visitors and residents, and disturbance of wildlife and livestock. We welcome over 20 million visitors to our places every year, and it is important that our policy reflects what is of greatest benefit to our visitors, nature and the countryside.

We do review our policy regularly and liaise with professional bodies such as ARPAS (Welcome to ARPAS-UK, the Voice of the UK Drone Industry) when so doing. At the moment we have no plans to change our policy on public drone use from our places.

We have a pathway for commercial drone operators to fly at and photograph our places via our filming and photography process (Photography & filming with National Trust | National Trust) although this is aimed at professional users and production companies rather than enthusiasts.

I’m sorry that we don’t feel able to engage with your suggestions at present, but we do appreciate the time and thought you have given to this issue.

Best wishes


Sent on behalf of [_________] by:
([_________]/[_________]) (#[_________][_________])
Land & Nature
National Trust
Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2NA


so its ok for commercial but not ok for recreational … make it make sense haha oh wait you have to pay for the commerical side but they can see the amount of youtube videos at NT sites theres not been any damage etc and people willstill go film them weather NT like itt or not. and its it publics intrest to see what people see etc with drones as they are a great tool to capture what you cant get to etc. there just OLDIES not with the times and then i Guess ARPAS needs a kick in the rear end to get this moving a bit better…

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FairPlay tho for giving it your best shot :clap:t2:


It sounds like the usual fuddy duddy response we come to expect from organisations like that. Well worth trying though.


Nice try, but as usual the NT just ain’t playing ball ( unless it’s for commercial purposes and you pay their fees ) Just shows they are simply greedy b’stards. If anything Im sure the many videos on YouTube and social media actually encourage the public to visit NT properties. ( same with English Heritage sites) :wink::wink:


Which just confirms why I stopped being a member of the NT and EH.


Kudos for trying @PingSpike :clap: :clap:


Fair play to you for giving it your best shot.
As per usual with the NT, they just simply don’t want to know or listen to any proposals.
Or to even work with a Drone Club.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom.

The NT may stop us as recreational drone pilots from taking off from their land.

But they can’t stop you from taking off from the public highway and flying over their land.
They may moan about it saying it’s over their land.
But technically they can’t do anything about it, as we all know, don’t own the air space.

That’s probably the only way to get around flying over the NT whilst keeping VLOS.

But, also making sure that there are no FRZ’s if any parts of the NT are in a FRZ, or have a NOTAM in place or a permanent one.

Maybe in time, they might change their mind… But, who knows.

Happy flying :sunglasses: 🪽.

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Shame they are so closed minded, but thanks for trying… As others have said, it would be nice to be welcomed and to be able to share the benefits of drone footage for their own promotion, and perhaps to allow an extra revenue stream for them, but their loss, and we shall continue to fly overhead using the tchniques that have already been mentioned and are perfectly legal!


Funny how they are perfectly happy to allow the trial of BVLOS to cross their beloved Blicking hall site in Norfolk even though the pilot will be several miles away in a office , it’s being done with DJI drones several times a day , I know they are only flying over and between 300 and 400 feet but you would of expected some kick off from them

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Well written but shame they never went for it…

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Great effort guys :clap::clap::clap:, but makes no odds to me, as I’ll continue fly and film at their properties anyway as long as it’s within the drone code. Fine or no fine.

I’ll continue to dodge the kids on their push bikes, or adults flying at 25mph+ at ground level on mountain bikes and doff my cap to trailbike riders as I walk on public rights of way on God,'s green earth, or kick the balls back from errant shots of rightly excited youngsters. And I’ll still pay my annual fee to visit their beautiful houses and parkland and perhaps use the footage I take to hopefully entertain those less fortunate than I and cannot get to see their (OUR) heritage for whatever reason.


What is the worst can happen if you are caught flying drone off there land, are they going to prosecute for trespass or just ask you to leave, if they try prosecute they first would need your details and if you dont give them they would have to ask the police to get involved, as trespass is a civil mater would the police be interested. Im not condoning trying this but just using it as a what if

Alarm harassment and distress is what they’d go for to get the po po out.

It’s only trespass when they ask you to leave and you don’t abide.

I think that alarm harassment and distress bullshit can just as easily work the other way round

Anyone asking you to leave what is deemed as private property cannot cause you alarm harasses and distress.

It’s their right to do so. a bit like me tipping up flying from your back yard .

Choose your battles.