Photo is an area view of Silk Wood at Westonbirt, looking down at the lush green canopy of the ash woodlands.

Permits for filming, photography and drones

Anyone can take photographs with cameras and phones in the nation’s forests for fun, to share and for personal use.

If you wish to use any of the woods and forests we manage for commercial filming or photography, you must first apply for a permit. To find out more about what the nations forest have to offer filmmakers please visit our Filming in the forest page.

All use of drones must have our permission.

We usually need at least 8 weeks to thoroughly consider your application, so leave plenty of time to apply. The lead-in time may vary depending on location so please check with the local team.

Application and permit costs

The application and permit may be free, have a charge to cover our costs or have a full commercial charge.  Where appropriate we will charge for the application and for the filming / photography itself.

The income from permissions goes directly to caring for our woodlands and managing any impact, such as additional wear and tear, to ensure they are still there to be used for events and activities in the future.

Lake in front of forest landscape on a sunny day

Why you need a permit

The nation’s forests are popular destinations, a working environment and home to some of the country’s rarest wildlife. The woodlands provide diverse locations with every type of forest setting you could need. It's not surprising that many people want to film and photograph in these great locations.

We need to balance the needs and safety of all our visitors, wildlife conservation and sustainable timber production while protecting our woodlands for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to thrive.


We believe most people visiting a forest expect a peaceful experience and would not appreciate unlimited drone use, so we strictly limit people flying drones to where we believe there will be a benefit to the forests.

Reasons might include scientific research, producing stunning video that people will appreciate, or controlled recreational events. For this reason, any use of drones must have our permission.

A drone flying through the forest

How to apply for a permit

To get started, simply contact the relevant email address below and to help us process your enquiry more efficiently, you should include the following information in your email:

  • An outline of your proposal for filming, photography or drone use.
  • Details of your organisation or group (if applicable) including contact details.
  • Proposed date and location (the more specific, the better).
  • A copy of your risk assessment and relevant Public Liability Insurance


North England


Central England

East England

Kent and East Sussex (including Bedgebury):

Thames Chase and the Chilterns (including Wendover):

Thetford and the Sandlings (including High Lodge):

West England

North = Worcestershire (including Wyre Forest), Shropshire, Warwickshire :

Central = Forest of Dean and Herefordshire:

South = Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol and Mendips:

South England

Westonbirt =

Keep exploring...

Camera crew filming in the forest
05 March 2019
Explore the range of locations that you can film in
Woman sat on grass in sunshine in yoga pose
23 March 2020
If you wish to use one or more of our woodlands to host a sport or educational event or activity, or for scientific research, you must first apply for a permit.
Bedgebury National Pinetum Marshal's Lake view dawn sunrise winter
Make the most out of your visit to the nation's forests. Be inspired by seasonal activities and stunning scenery.
Volunteering group sat on a bench

If you enjoy the outdoors, want to learn new skills, meet new people and be part of our team, why not get involved with your local forest?