Where to fly in Northumberland?

Hi

I’m in Prudhoe in Northumberland, right on the edge of the newcastle airport ‘high risk’ zone. I have an area nearby where I can go and fly but its used by lots of dog walkers and horse riders, I’ve also had reports of the farmer who leases the field (no livestock in it) being abusive to any users of the footpaths. Does anyone have any suggestions of where would be a good place to go to practice , I have yet to fly my Mavic 2 Pro (when I finally got up the courage the weather turned and we’ve had little but wind and rain since). Are we OK to fly from beaches?

Thanks

It depends on the beach. Common opinion is that all beaches between mean high water and mean low water (the foreshore) belong to the Crown but that isn’t the case. Some beaches are privately owned so the owner’s rules may apply. I fly on a beach that is owned by the local sailing club but I yet have to be approached by a red-faced and angry committee member. I get a lot of interested passers-by wanting to know about the aircraft though.

The Crown is fairly sensible when it comes to flying :

"Drone flying / Unmanned Aerial Devices (UAD)

We grant permission for UAD flights over Crown Estate foreshore (defined as the land between mean high water and mean low water).

This permission is subject to all operators complying with the applicable laws, statutes, regulations and codes, as well as the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority, and obtaining any other necessary consents for the operation of UADs.

On occasions, third parties such as Government agencies or local authorities may restrict the flying of UAD’s on Crown Estate land. We therefore recommend checking with the appropriate authority to ensure that no such restrictions are in place."

To find out which areas of foreshore we own, please use our Foreshore and Estuary Ownership Map

Once you have taken off from a beach you aren’t confined to staying within the limits of the foreshore.
My understanding - I am NOT a lawyer - is that airspace above a property is administered by the CAA and, as long as you are following the Drone Code and not invading anyone’s privacy you are flying legally.

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I’d be very nervous of sand getting inside the drone, even when flying from a promenade or nearby patch of grass.

My MP ended up in the sand when trying to land it in a boat on the beach in Goa, the boat was at the top of the beach. Anyway it hit the front pole of the boat and ended up in the sand. It broke a couple of props which was the only visible damage. I took it back to the place I was staying at and gave it a good shake down, blew out the motors and brushed of the rest of the sand, put a new set of props on and tested, it was fine and has been ever since. I gave it another clean out when I got home and it has been fine ever since.

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@tgcumbria
I’ve been thinking of flying off the end of Boscombe pier as long as the wind isn’t too strong. Anyone else tried flying off a pier?

Old Victorian piers can have loads of cast iron under the wooden decking, and more recent ones with concrete decks can have a large amount of rebar in them.

Expect magnetic interference messages and inability to start motors.

With either, try a different locations (perhaps only a few feet different) until you don’t get any message, and you’re good to fly.

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Hi @Megalot I’m just along the road from you in Wallsend. I’ve flown from St Mary’s carpark in Whitley bay and from Whitley beach, Cullercoats and Tynemouth beach with no problems except seagulls. Early in the morning the beaches are quiet but the gulls seem to be a bit more aggressive probably hungry. Recently I went to Cambois where a experienced (very brave) drone pilot give me a lesson in flying around seagulls to overcome my fear of losing my drone to one. He reckons that if you turn off your sensors they don’t bother you, something to do with the ultrasonic and the whole 17 minute flight with no sensors on I never got bothered by any. North Tyneside council have set up a drone watch around St Mary’s lighthouse and have said the police will be called if a drone is spotted because they reckon people have damaged it with drones :joy: so dont fly there.

Thanks everyone

That thought did cross my mind, thanks