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Question about public parks (UK)

jumper1

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Hi,

I have just bought a Mavic Mini 2 and passed the CAA flyer ID even though it's not a requirement yet for sub 250g drones. I was under the impression that you can fly drones over public parks (just for test actually) as they are not built up areas, however the CAA guide says recreational parks in city are considered part of “Built up areas” (attached). So the question is can we or can we not fly drones in large public parks located within London? I am talking about large parks where surrounding buildings at the border are nowhere near 150m from you.

Thanks

 
Don’t know about London but I have flown in my local park with the park attendant’s around and they never said I shouldn’t.
Could be worth contacting the park authority or council to get confermation.
 
Well spotted and thanks for asking the question!
I guess the recreational park is included as a "busy area", likewise the beach. Taking that to be the case I would assume it is whether you would be flying over or near uninvolved people that is the decider, I fly at a beach and if anyone come near the drone either is sent away and generally low or is landed (hand catch).
 
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Well spotted and thanks for asking the question!
I guess the recreational park is included as a "busy area", likewise the beach. Taking that to be the case I would assume it is whether you would be flying over or near uninvolved people that is the decider, I fly at a beach and if anyone come near the drone either is sent away and generally low or is landed (hand catch).
Thanks! I won't even go near people in the park, let alone fly overhead. I basically just want to test the capabilities of the drone before I take it out on a vacation. Unfortunately, I live within a blue authorization zone of a airport so I prefer testing it in a park than in my garden.
 
Sorry I meant to remove "over or". I won't, knowingly, go over them either lol
 
This varies from one local authority to another, so you’ll need to check with them. They can’t stop you over flying from the park - but, they can stop you taking off and landing from them. This is the same for national parks, like the Peak District has byelaws about flying from their land, but if you take off from a farmers field they can’t stop you over flying it.
 
They can’t stop you over flying from the park
It depends on where the park is. If it’s a recreational park in a city, town or village, the rule that @jumper1 linked says “Never fly above these areas at any height”.
 
It depends on where the park is. If it’s a recreational park in a city, town or village, the rule that @jumper1 linked says “Never fly above these areas at any height”.
This is from the actual drone code which offers no definition of ‘built up area’. Neither does the CAP.
D1A1620B-FBB1-4B6C-AE53-E976EC78813B.jpeg

Plus, it’s irrelevant after the end of the month when the new rules come into force - if you’re flying a Mini anyway.
 
In London there aren't many parks where you can (currently) fly clearly legally.
Richmond Park, Wormwood Scrubs and Duke's Meadows (all in West London) have specific byelaws allowing flying. Check out dronescene.co.uk

Many others (eg all other royal parks) specifically ban it from their land.

Hampstead Heath say that they regard all of the Heath as a congested area therefore they argue it's currently not legal even to fly over.:

However - as others have said - this changes on Jan 1st, particularly for the smaller drones.
After that time it's a very good question.

I for one would love to fly safely on Hampstead Heath and can't see any reason why it wouldn't be legal.
 
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In London there aren't many parks where you can (currently) fly clearly legally.
Richmond Park, Wormwood Scrubs and Duke's Meadows (all in West London) have specific byelaws allowing flying. Check out dronescene.co.uk

Many others (eg all other royal parks) specifically ban it from their land.

Hampstead Heath say that they regard all of the Heath as a congested area therefore they argue it's currently not legal even to fly over.:

However - as others have said - this changes on Jan 1st, particularly for the smaller drones.
After that time it's a very good question.

I for one would love to fly safely on Hampstead Heath and can't see any reason why it wouldn't be legal.
This has been very very helpful. I was not aware that there were specific bylaws allowing drones in selected parks. Interestingly, the dronescene.co.uk does not appear to show English Heritage sites as "requires owner permission" or "not allowed". I know EH has clearly prohibited all drone flights over its properties without prior written permission.
 
Happy to help - it's a question I'm very interested in too.

Re. EH - Dronescene is user generated so just because someone said you can fly somewhere doesn't mean it is fully legal.
The best locations are where someone has quoted or linked to the relevant source saying that it's legal.

For instance I added Wormwood Scrubs and included the byelaws and a photo of the info board on site confirming it's a flying zone.

As for London parks - according to this website:

These are the areas in London that specifically ban drone flying:
  • All Royal Parks. That is: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park (except the flying field), Bushy Park, St James’s Park, The Green Park, Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park (which is also pretty near City airport), Brompton Cemetery & Victoria Tower Gardens (near The Palace of Westminster).
  • Wimbledon Common (where you’re not even allowed a kite!)
  • Putney Common
  • Clapham Common
  • Hampstead Heath (This is a tricky one – the City Corporation have offered the view that the whole park is a ‘congested area’ (which the Air Navigation Order does not permit flight over) though in practice much of the heath would seem OK by most other definitions of the term).
  • Lambeth (unless you have a PfCO – though what comes after July is anyone’s guess).
  • Chelsea
  • Lewisham
  • Dagenham
  • Barking
  • Redbridge
  • Mitcham common – Byelaws ban it.
Also Brent have a PSPO banning drones in place until Sep 2022:

The grey area is boroughs and parks that don't specify either way.
Currently I don't fly in parks unless specifically allowed because of the rule you identified.
However from Jan 1st I can't see any reason not to fly (carefully). For instance I live near Camden which has no specific policy that I can find - so we should be able to fly from Camden owned parks.
 
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Happy to help - it's a question I'm very interested in too.

Re. EH - Dronescene is user generated so just because someone said you can fly somewhere doesn't mean it is fully legal.
The best locations are where someone has quoted or linked to the relevant source saying that it's legal.

For instance I added Wormwood Scrubs and included the byelaws and a photo of the info board on site confirming it's a flying zone.

As for London parks - according to this website:

These are the areas in London that specifically ban drone flying:
  • All Royal Parks. That is: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park (except the flying field), Bushy Park, St James’s Park, The Green Park, Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park (which is also pretty near City airport), Brompton Cemetery & Victoria Tower Gardens (near The Palace of Westminster).
  • Wimbledon Common (where you’re not even allowed a kite!)
  • Putney Common
  • Clapham Common
  • Hampstead Heath (This is a tricky one – the City Corporation have offered the view that the whole park is a ‘congested area’ (which the Air Navigation Order does not permit flight over) though in practice much of the heath would seem OK by most other definitions of the term).
  • Lambeth (unless you have a PfCO – though what comes after July is anyone’s guess).
  • Chelsea
  • Lewisham
  • Dagenham
  • Barking
  • Redbridge
  • Mitcham common – Byelaws ban it.
Also Brent have a PSPO banning drones in place until Sep 2022:

The grey area is boroughs and parks that don't specify either way.
Currently I don't fly in parks unless specifically allowed because of the rule you identified.
However from Jan 1st I can't see any reason not to fly (carefully). For instance I live near Camden which has no specific policy that I can find - so we should be able to fly from Camden owned parks.
Thanks for this! I live in Barking which is on the list where I intended to test the drone. I have to look up where they have specifically banned it.
 

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