Flying drones at our places

Tyntesfield House aerial

All aerial activity above our sites is prohibited unless specific permission is granted, according to an existing byelaw. The overall legal position regarding drones is somewhat unclear and subject to forthcoming government consultation.

Drone flying by our members or by the general public

  • We do not grant permission for private flying for the following reasons;-
  • CAA regulations state that drones should not be flown above or near to people. As our properties often have staff living or working on site, visitors present or have open access, unauthorised drone flying is both illegal and potentially puts people at risk.
  • Few non-commercial users have the correct training or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate drones.
  • If a drone causes damage or harm, pilots generally do not have the correct insurances, or level of insurances, to adequately compensate those affected.   
  • Some sites may have wildlife or agricultural animals, or animals which are sensitive to disturbance, such as birds and deer herds, which could be alarmed or stressed by the presence of drones, especially at breeding times.  
  • Many drones have cameras attached and these could infringe data protection laws (filming people without permission) and potentially could contravene National Trust rules on commercial photography and filming.
  • The presence of drones can impinge on the quiet enjoyment of our sites by other visitors and therefore potentially presents a public nuisance risk.  

Flying  by contractors

We do occasionally grant permission for the use of drones if there is a benefit in doing so. Such occasions could include roof inspections or wildlife surveys. However, in such cases we will specifically commission the work and the selection of contractor, their competence (they must be a registered commercial operator with the CAA) and the level and type of their insurance is carefully vetted. In addition we have a number of rules which must be observed by the contractor whilst planning and undertaking the work.

We do not respond to cold calling from contractors seeking to sell drone related services. We manage all suppliers via a web-based system called the Proactis Supplier Portal. If you wish to be considered as one of our suppliers you can register your details on this portal


We may grant permission for drone-related commercial filming in certain circumstances. In general terms the production company must follow the same competency and insurance rules as those required for contractors. In addition the filming must be commercial in nature and agreed with our filming office.

The applications that we may consider are those that come from recognised production companies who are using drone footage as part of a wider production which will also include filming on the ground with actors and presenters.

Contractually the footage can only be used for the named project and further use including image libraries is prohibited.   

We will not grant permission to fly for amateur or student filming, or approve requests from any fliers who seek permission in return for access and use of the footage obtained.

National Trust Byelaws 1965 

Information regarding aerial activity above our sites, can be found in section 11 - Driving, Parking and Mooring of Conveyances.