Author Topic: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?  (Read 1366 times)

Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« on: 05 May, 2021, 08:54:08 am »
We bought a DJI Mavic (no, not the wheels  ;)) mini to use on our local beach in Scotland - 2 miles long, well away from any built-up areas or military zones and with rarely more than one or two dog walkers on it at any one time. 

The land-owners' management group at one end of the beach, of which we are a member, want to put up a sign saying drones are prohibited from access to the beach.

As I understand it, the Crown Estates own all coastal land between the mean high and low water marks, and they specifically allow drone use on all coastal strips unless over-ridden by other parties - i.e. military, local authority, etc.

Would it not therefore be misleading, if not actually unlawful, to put up a notice saying drones are prohibited?  Drone use is already governed by fairly restrictive guidelines and used responsibly should not bother anyone.


Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #1 on: 05 May, 2021, 10:25:20 am »
The Crown Estate owns most, but not all, of the foreshore in the UK. The Crown Estate split a few years ago, so in Scotland it is a different body - Crown Estate Scotland. In Scotland, only about half of the foreshore is owned by Crown Estate Scotland. Some areas that are owned by The Crown Estate are leased out to other parties (e.g. local authorities), who are able to issue restrictions. Therefore, it depends on what the relationship the land-owners' management group has with the foreshore and The Crown Estate/ Crown Estate Scotland. It's possible that there is local ownership of lease-management. The purpose of regulating leases from Crown Estate Scotland is to allow local communities to manage coastal resource, so your local group might have that authority (or might not).

As you are a member of the management group, can you ask what the arrangement is, and what lawful authority the group has to prohibit access?

 

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #2 on: 05 May, 2021, 11:55:18 am »
used responsibly should not bother anyone.

*** extremely hmmmm face ***

Kim

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #3 on: 05 May, 2021, 12:11:39 pm »
What are the rules governing putting up meaningless signs?  Quite.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #4 on: 05 May, 2021, 12:29:55 pm »
What are the rules governing putting up meaningless signs?  Quite.

That's what I was thinking.  Surely not a good idea to put up purported legal notices that have no basis in law.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #5 on: 05 May, 2021, 12:33:44 pm »
Tell that to the thousands of idiots who erect "Trespassers will be Prosecuted" signs.

Kim

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #6 on: 05 May, 2021, 12:40:15 pm »
Exactly.  Put up a sign with no legal basis, and most people will obey it, apart from a minority of pedants who know it has no legal basis, everyone who didn't notice the sign and those who were going to do whatever they like anyway.  You're extremely unlikely to get into trouble for the sign itself, unless one of the pedants has nothing better to do.

Meanwhile, the sign gives the gammons something to point at while they're shouting.  See also: "Cyclists dismount."

I have no strong feelings about the use of drones on a beach.  They're roughly akin to, say, kites, dogs or bicycles.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

woollypigs

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #7 on: 05 May, 2021, 01:05:33 pm »
As much as I like watching drone footage, I hate the sound of the wee little buggers. Some time back I was at Malham Cove and there was one buzzing around, being a cove it made the sound and echo even worse.
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #8 on: 05 May, 2021, 01:25:55 pm »
I'd like to think my son & I were "responsible" users.  The Mini is about 6" and no-one should be aware of its presence if we follow the guidelines about distancing & privacy.

BTW thanks Jasmine for the detailed reply.  Some more research needed.  The default position seems to be - drones are permitted unless other authorities countermand that.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #9 on: 05 May, 2021, 01:42:58 pm »
.....They're roughly akin to, say, kites, dogs or bicycles.

My wife hunts out beaches that dogs aren't allowed onto as she really hates the stress she gets of them trying to steal her picnics or even come up to say "hello".    I'm a dog lover and want my own, but I understand that not everybody wants to put up with them intruding on personal space which is amongst the reasons I'm letting my wife get her way.

And re drones, when we got lockdown last year I had one come over the garden every evening, as I said to the neighbour I wasn't sure if my biggest regret was 1) not applying for a shotgun licence, or 2) knowing that had I applied I'd have then known it was still illegal to blast the ruddy noisy thing out of 'my' airspace.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #10 on: 05 May, 2021, 01:49:28 pm »
Get a jammer for the drone , so it’ll come down when it loses its signal.

Kim

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #11 on: 05 May, 2021, 02:08:49 pm »
.....They're roughly akin to, say, kites, dogs or bicycles.

My wife hunts out beaches that dogs aren't allowed onto as she really hates the stress she gets of them trying to steal her picnics or even come up to say "hello".

Quite.  When it comes to poorly-controlled things that pose a non-zero amount of danger and make a lot of unpleasant noises, dogs are a far bigger problem.  I'll see your evening drone fly-over during lockdown and raise you incessant yapping through the wall at any and all hours of the day for the last n years.

Most people would accept that flying kites is a reasonable thing to do on an uncrowded beach, yet they can also be noisy, carry cameras and drop out of the sky suddenly due to loss of power or control.  Bicycles - rarely noisy, mildly dangerous, sometimes poorly controlled.  Yet everybody loves to hate them.

Maybe just put up a sign saying "Don't be a bell-end" and have done with it.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Regulator

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #12 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:18:53 pm »
.....They're roughly akin to, say, kites, dogs or bicycles.

My wife hunts out beaches that dogs aren't allowed onto as she really hates the stress she gets of them trying to steal her picnics or even come up to say "hello".    I'm a dog lover and want my own, but I understand that not everybody wants to put up with them intruding on personal space which is amongst the reasons I'm letting my wife get her way.

And re drones, when we got lockdown last year I had one come over the garden every evening, as I said to the neighbour I wasn't sure if my biggest regret was 1) not applying for a shotgun licence, or 2) knowing that had I applied I'd have then known it was still illegal to blast the ruddy noisy thing out of 'my' airspace.

I can lend you an air rifle...  :thumbsup: ;)
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I completely agree with Reg.

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #13 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:40:22 pm »

Most people would accept that flying kites is a reasonable thing to do on an uncrowded beach, yet they can also be noisy, carry cameras and drop out of the sky suddenly due to loss of power or control. 

Up to a point. Kites, flapping canvas and camera equipped, are rarely seen as intrusive or annoying. The noise is distant, the camera direction random. Drones OTOH, are (at least to me) much more intrusive and irritating.   They’re typically at much lower altitude, have a much, much more irritating sound profile, and of course the cameras lens can be, and occasionally is, directed at individuals.

I certainly would feel a quiet walk on a near deserted beach had been spoiled if it was accompanied by the constant buzz of a drone.  But then I don’t like dogs on beaches either, even “out of season”.  :)
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #14 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:52:14 pm »
If you come to a beach with a dog that never stops yapping and the intention to send it far away from you, you are a bell-end.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #15 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:58:54 pm »
Depends dunnit. A beach near here is also a marine reserve and I believe drones are not allowed there because they disturb the seals at their haul out.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Kim

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #16 on: 05 May, 2021, 05:28:50 pm »
Depends dunnit. A beach near here is also a marine reserve and I believe drones are not allowed there because they disturb the seals at their haul out.

That's a fair point.

Obviously what's needed are some Whitby shitehawks, they'll soon sort out any errant drones.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Wombat

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Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #17 on: 06 May, 2021, 03:06:48 pm »
You do have your operator ID from CAA?  If so, surely you will know the current laws.  If not, then you are flying illegally.  Look it up, here: https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code  and all is revealed.
Wombat

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #18 on: 07 May, 2021, 09:05:36 am »
You do have your operator ID from CAA?  If so, surely you will know the current laws.  If not, then you are flying illegally.  Look it up, here: https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code  and all is revealed.

Yes.  ID on the bottom of the Mini.

Turns out this particular beach is privately owned to the low-water mark, probably a result of salmon-netting rights sold many years ago.  As it turns out the current owner is a friend of my brother  ;)

After the exchange of a few emails they have decided to amend the wording to say that drones are allowed "with permission" (and I would be OK  ;) ), but that seems to open a can of worms about how/where/when that permission could be obtained.


Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #19 on: 07 May, 2021, 09:52:56 am »
I may be wrong here but I understand that the flying of drones is permitted or prohibited by law and not by private landowners.  I don't think technically a landowner can permit what the law prohibits and vice versa.

You'll need to be up-to-date with the regs and fly accordingly.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #20 on: 07 May, 2021, 10:29:11 am »
Indeed.  It's very much a grey area.  I'm happy to abide by the drone-users guidelines (not laws as it stands) and fly with permission of the land-owner in this case. 

How others would get this permission is another story and something I'm drawing to the attention of the sign-makers.  If there is no practical and quick way of getting permission then it could be seen as a fig-leaf for denying access, which may in itself breach various laws.

BTW I spoke to the local officer of the Crown Estate agents, Bidwells, and although they have no legal ownership of the land in question, he urged extreme caution about the use of words like "permission" on official-looking notices.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #21 on: 07 May, 2021, 11:05:26 am »
I may be wrong here but I understand that the flying of drones is permitted or prohibited by law and not by private landowners.  I don't think technically a landowner can permit what the law prohibits and vice versa.

AFAIK private landowners can "ban" anything unless it's specifically legally protected. The thing that varies is whether there's any legal recourse available to enforce that.

Overflying with drones can count as nuisance trespass and it's possible (though unlikely) that legal action could be taken. Also the CAA rules on flying near other people are pretty strict, though again enforcement is unlikely.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #22 on: 07 May, 2021, 11:34:31 am »
You can say that you ban something but as you suggest, enforcement may not be quite so easy.

As it stands though, if a drone is flown legally over private land in accordance with the law then any claimed ban is totally meaningless.

Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #23 on: 07 May, 2021, 11:36:28 am »
That's certainly what I would assume.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Drone use restrictions on a public beach?
« Reply #24 on: 07 May, 2021, 12:32:35 pm »
Also in accord with my understanding of a subject not made much less grey by the recent regs!

Just about to purchase a DJI Mini 2, for use to keep track of the condition of structures on a heritage railway.  As I'm its buildings manager, I hereby give myself permission to overfly them.  Very handy things to check if the gutters need clearing yet again, or can it wait a bit.  The fact that I may get some interesting footage is a bonus.  A member who has a bigger drone recently did some overfly surveys for me, and they were very useful indeed.
Wombat