Skip to main content
View over Bishopdale Copyright Stephen Garnett

Drone flying

When you fly a drone in the UK it is your responsibility to be aware of the rules that are in place to keep everyone safe. Different regulations apply depending on the type of drone you’re flying, where you’re flying it, and what you’re flying it for.

Drones for recreation

If you fly or own a drone or model aircraft and want to fly it for recreational purposes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park you must:

  • Register your drone with the CAA before you fly (you must have two IDs in place before flying most drones). You can find out more here.
  • Obtain the landowner’s permission. It’s worth knowing that over 98% of land in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is in private ownership.
  • If you are flying for recreational purposes, then you are required to comply with the Drone Code. You can view that here. Guidance is also available on the Dronesafe website.

It’s also worth considering how your activity might disturb other people and wildlife.

Persons operating model aircraft hobby drones weighing less than 20kg are not required to have third party liability insurance. However, the British Model Flying Association provides insurance for its members and it is recommended that you have insurance to cover any accident that may occur when you are flying the drone.

It is unlikely that your household insurance policy would provide cover for drone use and you will therefore need to seek separate insurance cover.

We do not permit the recreational flying of drones at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority owned sites. This includes Aysgarth Falls.

Malham Cove & Malham Tarn

The peregrine falcons that nest at Malham Cove each year are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  Please be aware that if the use of a drone disturbs these birds at or near their nest, or when they have dependent young, it could constitute a criminal offence.

Please do not fly drones at Malham Cove.

The National Trust owns considerable amounts of land around Malham Tarn, and in upper Wharfedale. They do not allow recreational drone flying on their land.

Drones for commercial filming

If you want to fly a drone for commercial filming purposes you will need landowner permission in the first instance. The landowner will likely ask for evidence of pilot qualification, for example GVC, A2CoC etc, a detailed risk assessment, flight plan and evidence of suitable public liability insurance where appropriate.

Finally, we ask that all drone operators respect the environment and the privacy of others, and take care not to harm or disturb any livestock or wildlife.

If you are concerned that someone is using a drone inappropriately or illegally, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.

Flying drones on/above designated sites (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest/SSSI)

Drones or model aircraft should not be flown on, or over Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs) without consent from Natural England. You can check SSSI and SPA locations here.

Stags Fell, Upper Wensleydale