UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (DRONES) POLICY
The use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or drones as they are more commonly known, is not permitted on or over Farnham Castle land as part of our byelaws without the necessary required qualifications and a licence granted by us.
We are experiencing increasing issues with drones on our site, and we expect this to continue as the technology becomes more available.
- The use of drones is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority and it is a developing area which is coming under greater scrutiny. Few non-commercial users have the correct training or permission to operate drones, which creates a serious risk to our staff, volunteers, visitors, property and wildlife. We have therefore adopted a strict blanket policy banning the use of drones at our site.
- Should a drone cause damage or harm, pilots generally do not have the correct insurances to compensate Farnham Castle Operations for remedial actions.
- Drones should not be flown over people; as much of our land is open access we cannot guarantee an area, even if remote, is completely empty.
- Drones should not flown near property; the special nature of our property makes the risk of damage more severe.
- The estate is an important area for wildlife and is covered by many national and international conservation designations. Much of the wildlife use our sites for breeding and are sensitive to disturbance and some species are given additional protection that can result in prosecution if photographed in certain situations. Many birds see drones as a threat and may abandon nests.
- Many drones have cameras attached and these could infringe data protection laws (filming people without permission) and potentially could contravene rules on photography and filming.
- The presence of drones can be detrimental to the enjoyment of our site by other visitors.
We therefore do not allow drone flying from or over Farnham Castle land. The only exception being contractors or staff who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have specific insurances and have been commissioned or authorised by Farnham Castle for a specific purpose – and in these cases the activity is strictly controlled.
The regulatory environment regarding drones is rapidly developing. We will continue to
monitor this development and keep our position under constant review.