Private filming and photography Private flying of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones is not permitted on the Herstmonceux estate for the following reasons:
CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations state that drones should not be flown above or near to people. As Herstmonceux Castle functions as both a university campus and tourist attraction, there are often students in residence together with staff living and/or working on site. In addition, during opening hours, there are visitors on site, either around the castle and gardens or the estate beyond. The Observatory Science Centre is also located on the estate and often has student and school groups on site during term time and families during the school holidays.
Unauthorised drone flying is both illegal and potentially puts all the above people at risk, especially as few non-commercial users have the correct training or permission from the CAA to operate drones. Also, many non-commercial drone pilots may not be aware of the level of insurance required to cover any damage or harm caused in the event of an accident.
The estate is a haven for wildlife and includes animals which are sensitive to disturbance, such as birds and a deer herd, which could be alarmed or stressed by the presence of drones, especially at breeding times.
Another issue is privacy. Many drones have cameras attached but photography and filming from a drone could infringe current data protection laws.
Finally, drones can be noisy and intrusive, spoiling the enjoyment of our visitors and potentially presenting a public nuisance risk.
Permission may be granted for drone-related commercial filming. We will consider applications from recognised production companies who are using drone footage as part of a wider production including filming on the ground with actors or presenters. The footage can only be used for the named project with further use subject to prior agreement. Our filming and photography application form can be downloaded from the website.
All enquiries should be directed to:
Julie Ryan – Enterprise Director
01323 834 470