Best Places to Fly a Drone in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is a county in North East England and the largest in the area, as it’s approximately 2,483 square miles.

It’s a splendid place to use a drone, but with national parks and nature preserves scattered across the land, you must plan your drone flights carefully.

Where can you fly a drone in North Yorkshire?

Here are the top drone flight locations in North Yorkshire:

  • North Moors National Park
  • Yorkshire Dales
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • Nidderdale

This guide will take you through the best places to operate a drone in North Yorkshire and share some drone laws and tips along the way, so make sure you don’t miss it!

The best locations to fly your drone in North Yorkshire

The following drone flight recommendations in North Yorkshire are current to the best of our knowledge.

However, you should always use a drone map to determine restricted airspace (including temporary flight restrictions) and look for signage indicating where you can and cannot fly.

With that caveat out of the way, let’s start the list.

1. North Moors National Park

North Moors National Park is a place of endless wonder in North Yorkshire.

Immerse yourself in stunning views like starry night skies and picture-perfect coastal sights, check out spots where programs like Downton Abbey and The Secret Garden were filmed, go cycling or horseback riding, take a leisurely stroll, or watch some wildlife.

The park spans 554 square miles. Since it’s such a picturesque place, more than 23,000 people live here.

According to the North Moors National Park website, you can launch a drone on the park grounds. However, considering how much of the park is privately-owned land (up to 80 percent), you must have the landowner’s permission before your flight.

The National Park Authority owns the rest of the park, which is under one percent. Thus, while you’re technically allowed to fly a drone within North Moors National Park, whether you can or cannot ultimately comes down to the people who live here.

Further, the National Park Authority states that it “will not grant permission to amateur operators for drone flight from its land for the following reasons…

In the event of an accident causing damage to property or injury to people, the operator of the drone will be liable to pay compensation. Amateur operators generally have not received professional training, are not registered with the Civil Aviation Authority and do not have appropriate insurance, should this happen.”

So what does the National Park Authority define as an amateur drone pilot? They’re referring to hobbyists or recreational pilots. Only commercial pilots can operate here.

You must contact the National Park Authority and request its permission if you plan to do any commercial filming. You can only film on lands the organization owns.

You’ll have a higher chance of receiving a yes if you have drone insurance and CAA registration. It also helps if you work with an established production company.

You must contact the National Park Authority at least 21 days ahead of your project to ensure you have permission in time.

If you’re granted authorization to use your drone for commercial filming in North Moors National Park, you must fly at least 50 meters or 150 feet from private property and crowds, fly no higher than 120 meters or 400 feet from the ground, and avoid restricted drones.

In the park, the land around Kilburn White Horse and the Sutton Bank National Park Centre is restricted.

2. Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales in historic Yorkshire County includes Yorkshire Dales National Park­–which we have coming up on the list–but encompasses the land beyond the park too.

This area includes hills and river valleys between the Pennine watershed and the Vale of York. The Garsdale, Dentdale, and Ribblesdale dales are under the Yorkshire Dales umbrella, as are a collection of limestone caves.

Like North Moors National Park, much of Yorkshire Dales is privately owned. The people who live here use the vast lands agriculturally, usually on farmsteads but also hamlets and tiny villages. The most common farming activities are cattle and sheep breeding.

You can operate your drone throughout Yorkshire Dales, although not in every last nook and cranny. For example, you cannot fly over private property without speaking to the landowner first and getting their approval.

You must avoid Malham Cove, as peregrine falcons nest here that are safeguarded by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Schedule 1. If you disturb the birds, you could face a criminal charge.

The National Trust possesses much of the land in nearby upper Wharfedale and Malham Tarn. You cannot fly a drone here either.

You should also strongly consider keeping your drone out of the cave systems, as hard rock and dark conditions are not conducive to a safe drone flight. You could also lose signal the deeper you go into the cave.

The cave systems in Yorkshire Dales include Stump Cross Caverns (by Pateley Bridge), Ingleborough Cave, Goyden System (near Pateley Bridge), White Scars Cave (by Ingleton), Easegill System, Leck Fell Caves, Mossdale Caverns, Alum Pot System, and the Gaping Gill System.

3. Yorkshire Dales National Park

If you can fly your drone in Yorkshire Dales, it only makes sense that you can do the same in Yorkshire Dales National Park. Indeed, you can.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is an 841-square-mile national park in North Yorkshire. Well, most of the park is in North Yorkshire, but some of it is in Lancashire and Westmorland, although a lot more in the latter than the former.

The park first opened in 1954 and grew in size in 2016. It’s the home of such attractive sights as the Kisdon Force waterfall, Orton Fells, the Cautley Spout waterfall, Clapton, and Bolton Castle.

Even though you’re allowed to fly a drone in Yorkshire Dales National Park, considering that more than 95 percent of the land has private owners, it’s at their discretion that you can launch a drone.

Once again, you’re prohibited from using your drone in Malham Tarn and Malham Cove to avoid disturbing the Peregrine falcons.

Further, you must avoid flying in all Special Protection Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. SPAs and SSSIs throughout the UK are available to review on this drone map.

Do you plan to use your drone commercially at Yorkshire Dales National Park? You must contact the National Park Authority and obtain permission.

4. Nidderdale

Pilots have also had good luck flying their UAVs in Nidderdale, a Yorkshire dale also referred to by the locals as Netherdale.

As part of the River Nidd’s upper valley and reservoirs like the Gouthwaite Reservoir, the dale also features Patetley Bridge, a small town.

However, there are many settlements in the area, from Kettlesing to Hampsthwaite, Birstwith, Darley, Dacre, Summerbridge, Glasshouses, Bewerley, Middlesmoor, Lofthouse, Ramsgill, and Wath.

As has been the case the entire time, you must speak to the landowners and ask for their permission before you launch your drone.

UK drone laws to know before you go

Now that you’ve found some great places to fly a drone in North Yorkshire, let’s review the CAA’s drone laws.

You need a drone license

The UK has two types of drone licenses, Operator and Flyer IDs. You can have one or both, as a Flyer ID is for those who fly a drone, whereas an Operator ID is for those who are responsible for drones either as an individual or part of a company.

You must pass a flying test to earn a drone license in the UK. The Flyer ID exam is more basic compared to the Operator ID exam. You can also opt to obtain both licenses simultaneously.

You must register your drone

The CAA does not require registration if yours is a toy drone or a lightweight UAV that weighs less than 250 grams. That also applies to drones without a camera.

When you register your drone, you’ll receive a unique registration number you must affix to your drone before flying it.

Do not fly over 120 meters

The legal height limit for unmanned aircraft in the UK is 120 meters or 400 feet. If you’re flying on a cliff, hill, or mountain, use whatever the nearest point is to the earth’s surface as your point of guidance.

Do not operate closer than 50 meters to people

Whether people are stationary or traveling via vehicle on land or sea, you cannot fly your drone closer than 50 meters to people. You’re also prohibited from flying over people.

Smaller drones can get closer to crowds, as can pilots who have permission from the crowd to operate nearer to them. However, you mustn’t operate your drone in such a way that someone could get hurt.

In larger crowds, such as in a busy shopping mall, a concert or festival, a packed beach, or during other instances where crowds gather, you cannot fly over the crowd with your drone.

Do not fly closer than 150 meters to buildings

You’re also prohibited from using your drone within 150 meters of the closest industrial, recreational, residential, or commercial site unless your drone weighs less than 250 grams.  


Whether you live in North Yorkshire or just visiting, you’ll find this area is rich with culture, heritage, and some truly phenomenal places to fly your drone.

From Nidderdale to Yorkshire Dales and North Moors National Park, you can capture footage of all kinds throughout the UK.

Please obtain all necessary permissions and always follow CAA drone laws when you fly here. Have fun out there!

Can You Fly a Drone in Exmouth, UK?

Exmouth is a seaside resort and port town in Devon, England that regularly attracts large crowds for its beaches, restaurants and brasseries, and quaint B&Bs. You might have a visit scheduled to this part of the UK.

Can you fly your drone in Exmouth, UK?

According to the East Devon District Council, drones can only fly in Exmouth with written permission from the council. In your written request, you’ll have to include information such as a site assessment, flight description, and a copy of your flight plan for your request to be approved.

If you’re interested in using a drone in Exmouth, this guide is for you.

We’ll detail the drone flight laws for this tiny coastal town and go into a lot more detail about getting flight permission, so make sure you keep reading!

Can you fly a drone in Exmouth?

While pilots once had greater flight freedoms in Exmouth, as of the late 2020s, that’s no longer the case.

A 2021 article from Exmouth Nub News [1] explains that the East Devon District Council has sought to limit the number of drones out and about throughout East Devon, as the numbers had gotten too high.

Today, if you want to fly your drone around Exmouth, you must first contact the East Devon District Council and obtain a written letter of permission from them.

If you don’t, then flying in the area is illegal.

Obtaining written permission to fly in Exmouth from the East Devon District Council

The Exmouth Nub News article delves deeply into all the information required for the East Devon District Council to consider your request. Let’s go over that information now.

Flight description

First, you have to include a full description of your flight plans. The more detailed you can be here, the better.

For instance, you might describe precisely where you want to fly your drone in Exmouth with the names of locations and addresses, the dates you wish to fly, and for roughly how long.

Copy of Permission for Commercial Operation document

In the UK, where Exmouth is located, you’re not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration but rather, the Civil Aviation Authority.

The CAA issues Permission for Commercial Operation or pfCO documents. What is a pfCO document, you ask?

It’s explicit permission for drone pilots to fly commercially in the UK. If you don’t have this permission, then you can’t fly in Exmouth.

Copy of site assessment

You also need a site assessment for your proposed drone flight where you identify any risks and hazards that may exist in the flight area and plan to remediate them or at least accommodate for them.

Copy of flight plan

You also have to include a copy of your flight plan when requesting flight permission in Exmouth from the Devon District Council.

The flight plan should include precisely where you plan to launch your drone as well as where you plan to land it.

Copy of public liability insurance

You must have public liability insurance that covers at least £10,000,000 which is approximately $12,141,250 USD. Be sure to include a copy of your insurance forms as well.

Commercial filming fee

There’s yet one more thing that only commercial pilots have to worry about, and that’s paying a fee of £200 or $243 USD to the East Devon District Council for any commercial drone activities, including filming and photography.

You’d send in the fee ahead of receiving your final flight permission.

What happens when you receive flight permission from the East Devon District Council?

According to the Exmouth Nub News article:

“Permission will only be granted, where usage of a drone device aids risk reduction in the work place such as working at height, land and building survey work, or for the undertaking professional services such as festivals, archaeological survey, events media, and then subject to conditions.”

If you are indeed granted permission to fly your drone, before you take to the skies, you have to agree to certain rules and terms.

For instance, you must “have in place suitable secure arrangements for the handling of personal data captured.”

That statement seems to pertain to violating the privacy of others with your UAV, which is a poor choice to do with your drone any day and is very often illegal.

If any injuries occur, you must promise to indemnify the East Devon District Council. You’d be responsible for the damage caused, not Exmouth.

You’re also required to follow CAA rules, including all existing drone codes and the Air Navigation Order.

The Air Navigation Order [2] is a drone law that was first established in 2016 and has since been amended in 2022.

What happens if you fly a drone illegally in Exmouth?

Exmouth and the East Devon District Council established the drone rules as detailed above to prevent harassment and noise disturbances to its residents as well as the tourists that love to visit this area.

Exmouth has many open spaces and parks throughout the small town, so if a drone was causing a ruckus, lots of people would be able to hear it.

Further, the town worries about what would happen if a drone accident occurred that caused damage to green spaces or even the town’s residents. No one wants to be sued!

So what happens if you fly a drone illegally in the area?

Well, the Exmouth Nub News article states that you’ll be asked to stop flying your drone but that “No details in the policy are provided as to what happens if they [the drone pilot] refuse the request to stop” as well as what happens to repeat offenders.

The policy is still new, so that can explain why it hasn’t been enacted to the fullest extent of the law yet.

You don’t want to be the first drone pilot to find out the hard way what would happen if you violated Exmouth’s drone rules, we’re sure.

In other parts of the world, the punishments usually include minor to more substantial fines depending on how many times you’ve flown your drone illegally. You could even possibly have to serve a jail sentence in some cases.

Then there are always the possibilities that your drone could be confiscated or that you could be barred from returning to Exmouth again. It’s a small enough town that you wouldn’t be able to hide from the authorities.

All in all, it simply isn’t worth it to try to bend the rules.

If you don’t have a permit, or if you apply for a permit and the East Devon District Council turns you down, then you’re going to have to find another part of the UK to fly in outside of Exmouth. 

Exmouth is a small coastal town in the East Devon area of the UK. In recent years, the town has begun enforcing stricter drone laws for the peace of its people and tourists and to avoid lawsuits and other legal entanglements.

You can’t fly a drone in Exmouth commercially or recreationally unless you go through the East Devon District Council and obtain written permission first.

If you don’t have permission, then don’t fly.

Just because the laws haven’t been cracked down upon yet doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.

The Exmouth drone laws are still very new, so don’t become a cautionary tale for other drone pilots to take heed of! 

1. Exmouth Nub News (link)
2. The Air Navigation (link)

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BT collaborates on the use of robotics and IoT to transform and automate agriculture

London, England – BT has delivered a robotics platform and management system as part of the Innovate UK-funded ‘Robot Highways’ project. The project is exploring the use of IoT and robotics in smart agriculture to drive automation, increase efficiency, and improve environmental sustainability.

The project aims to illustrate how a fleet of robots with various roles can interact and cooperate to form a robust and highly efficient supply chain operation.

In response to the challenge, BT and partners have demonstrated a vision of the future of soft fruit farming, where robotics, powered exclusively by renewable energy sources, will assist farmers by carrying out essential, energy intensive, physical farm processes. These include picking and packing fruit, as well as treating crops to reduce common pests and diseases.

By bringing together robotics and IoT, the project consortium has shown how key agricultural processes can be optimised through improving forecasting accuracy, increasing farm productivity, reducing farm labour and reducing fruit waste and fungicide use.

BT has developed and tested the edge and cloud architecture to deliver the infrastructure through which these IoT services can operate.

The technology employed by Robot Highways also supports the industry’s sustainability efforts to reduce fossil fuel use across all farming operations, helping to move the sector towards a carbon zero future.

The project is led by Saga Robotics, alongside partners BT, University of Lincoln, Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, Clock House Farm, University of Reading, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

John Davies, Chief Researcher, BT, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Robot Highways project to demonstrate how BT can help the agricultural sector to automate by integrating robotics and other solutions on a single platform. As a leader in network-based platforms and edge-infrastructure we are ideally placed to support advanced robotic farming operations.”

Anne Dingstad, CEO of Saga Robotics, said “We’re welcoming BT’s interest and support to help provide solutions that advance agricultural robotics in the UK. Connectivity plays a key part to advance automation and precision agriculture and to enable increased food production with less resources.” 

About BT Group

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BT Group consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; Enterprise and Global are our UK and international business-focused units respectively; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary, which wholesales fixed access infrastructure services to its customers – over 650 communication providers across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2022, BT Group’s reported revenue was £20,850m with reported profit before taxation of £1,963m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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