Plan your visit, plan your flight
The Broads Authority understands the attraction of drone flying in the Broads and as such have produced this guidance should you wish to operate in the Broads National Park. Further guidance for commercial operators is listed at the bottom of this page.
Whether you want to fly your drone or report the misuse of a drone here are some things to be aware of:
- The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations relating to drone use.
- You must also make sure to obey laws of privacy such as the Data Protection Act and the CCTV code of conduct, and those relating to the protection of wildlife.
- If you are concerned that someone is using a drone illegally, please contact the police on 999.
Safe operating is crucial and we expect anyone operating in the Broads National Park to:
- Know your drone – practise, understand its features in a controlled environment before operating in the Broads.
- Maintain a distance of 50 metres from people, livestock, buildings and vehicles.
- Identify a safe place to land and take off from (with landowner permission).
- Visit Drone Safe for more information.
Wildlife and livestock
The Broads is home to some of the UK’s rarest species and much of it is designated as a National Nature Reserve and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Please DO NOT operate at Nature Reserves (including How Hill National Nature Reserve).
Butterflies and dragonflies are particularly vulnerable as are nesting birds (nesting season is March to September) and we expect any operator to take great care not harm or disturb any wildlife or livestock. Please seek permission to fly over these areas by consulting the relevant organisation.
The Broads is treasured by locals and tourists alike for its peaceful landscape, big skies and meandering waterways. With this in mind be aware that the use of drones can be a nuisance to, and detract from others enjoyment of the area; please land your drone if someone is disturbed by it.
Boating and drones
We do not recommend launching a drone from a vessel on the Broads, even if you are stationary for these reasons:
- A boat is relatively small and dangerous place given that very cold water is only ever a step or slip away and your focus is directed toward your drone.
- The ‘return to home’ (RTH) safety feature is not accurate enough to land in such a small area and the drone is very likely to land in the water or dangerously close to a third party should the transmitter or battery fail and the drone activate its RTH feature.
- During the summer and holiday season areas of the Broads can become a ‘Congested area’ increasing the risk of an accident and the likelihood of disturbing other people.
Any commercial operator wishing to use the Broads for filming or stills must abide by the advice above and also contact the Broads Authority via email or telephone so we can discuss your request. Here are a few details that we expect:
- CAA permission number
- Insurance details
- Full name and contact details
- Risk assessment
- Operational details
Whilst the above is intended to be a useful guide it is the pilot/operator’s responsibility to ensure that any activities which carried out are within the law. This is the case whether your UAS/SUA/SUAV or drone is on land or airborne and that you should not infringe the public or private legal rights of other individuals. Broads Authority accepts no responsibility for those relying on this guide in the event that they face legal action by third parties while operating any drone.