Caring for our coast: managing drone use

Lindisfarne Castle from a drone flying to the south of the site

To protect wildlife and ensure our visitors are free to fully enjoy their experience, we carefully manage how and where drones are used on the Northumberland Coast.

The Northumberland Coast offers a home to a whole host of wildlife - from rare migratory birds and Atlantic grey seals to colourful puffins. The coast is covered by many national and international conservation designations, meaning that it’s an area that must be carefully looked after by our expert rangers and conservationists.

Many species use the coast as a site for breeding, and are therefore sensitive to disturbances like drones. Birds in particular have been shown to see drones as a threat and may abandon their nests as a result.

It’s therefore important that we carefully manage how and where unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are used on and around the coast.

Only those who meet Civil Aviation Authority criteria, who hold the necessary insurance and have been authorised by the National Trust are permitted to carry out drone filming over land looked after by the Trust.

In doing so, we’ll conserve special places like the Northumberland Coast for generations to come.

As custodians of places like Lindisfarne Castle, we also have a role in protecting historic buildings from aerial filming equipment. The nature of these buildings means that they are vulnerable to damage, and repairs due to drone damage would be costly.

Naturally, the safety of visitors is paramount. We therefore manage drone usage to reduce the risk of harm to visitors, staff and tenants alike.

For many, the coast is a place of peace and restfulness. By managing drone use over the areas that we look after, we hope to ensure the coast is enjoyable for all, and free from potential disturbances and invasions of personal privacy.

Anyone wishing to carry out commercial photography or video activity on parts of the Northumberland Coast cared for by National Trust should contact 01665 576874. Filming requests should be directed to our Filmand Locations Office who can be contacted on 0207 824 7148 or by visiting