Before contacting the Peak District National Park with your query regarding drones/UAVs, please read the commonly asked queries below.
What is the legislation covering drones in the UK?
The flying of drones or model aircraft in the UK is governed by Regulations. Details of the current Regulations and guidance, including a Drone and Model Aircraft Code, can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website. All operators should operate within all the relevant regulations applying to their activity.
Do I need to obtain permission from landowners to fly over their land?
Drone operators must have permission from the owner of the land where a drone takes off and lands.
The flying of drones over land owned by third parties could in some circumstances constitute a nuisance or trespass. The courts have not stated exactly what will constitute trespass or nuisance by drones, and each case would need to be decided individually, based on factors such as the frequency of flights, the height of those flights, whether they have been hovering in one place and/or taking multiple photographs or videos. It is therefore best practice to ensure that the landowner’s permission is obtained so as to avoid any potential claims for infringement of these rights.
Who owns the land in the Peak District National Park?
The Peak District National Park comprises areas owned by a range of private and public landowners. The Peak District National Park Authority does not own all land in the National Park and permission should be sought where required from the relevant landowners.
Please be aware that under Data Protection regulations, the Peak District National Park is unable to supply the details of private land ownership.
Flying drones on Peak District National Park Authority-owned land
Byelaws exist which precludes the flying of certain aircraft on access land - you can view a copy of these byelaws.
The National Park Authority has concerns about private flying over our land, and considers flights to be an unwarranted interference with the use and enjoyment of the land for many reasons, including the following:
- Many of our places have wildlife or agricultural animals which are sensitive to disturbance, such as birds and sheep, which could be alarmed or stressed by the presence of drones, especially at breeding or lambing times. Pilots should also be aware of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which gives legal protection for birds and wildlife against disturbance, in particular during the breeding season.
- All who visit, live and work in the National Park value the peace and tranquillity of our places. The presence of drones can impinge on the quiet enjoyment of our places by others and therefore potentially presents a public nuisance risk.
- Many of our places are the homes of our tenants. We respect and value their privacy and right to quiet enjoyment and drone use may be an infringement of these rights.
- Many areas of land owned by the National Park Authority, including its car parks, trails and visitor centres, are busy environments and are therefore not suitable sites for the take-off and landing of drones. There is also an increased risk in such areas of endangering persons or property.
- If a drone causes damage or harm, operators who are members of the general public may well not have the correct insurances, or level of insurances, to adequately compensate those affected.
Flying drones on/over designated sites (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest)
Flying may be restricted at some Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Special Protection Areas where that flight may disturb animals or wildlife. Natural England should be consulted with regard to such designated sites.
If your drone or model aircraft is fitted with a camera or listening device, consider the privacy of others. Further guidance can be found in the CAA Drone and Model Aircraft Code and on the Information Commissioner's website.
Reporting misuse of unmanned aircraft and drones
If you have any concerns about unmanned aircraft or drones being used in your area, either from a safety or privacy perspective, contact your local police on 101.