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New Forest - permission for drone flying

Updated 14th September 2018

Drone flying in the New Forest

The use of drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are not permitted on or over New Forest Crown land as part of our byelaws.

In our experience, very few users have the correct training or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate drones. Should a drone cause damage or harm, people often do not have the correct insurances to compensate those affected.

Drones should not be flown over people and as much of the New Forest is open access, with free-roaming animals, we cannot guarantee an area is ever completely empty. Drones should not be flown near property and the special nature of the New Forest’s Crown lands makes the risk of damage more serious.

If I’m a responsible drone user, who wishes to operate in the New Forest in compliance with the regulations, who can I contact to discuss potential flights with?

Many drones have cameras attached and these could infringe data protection laws (filming people without permission) and potentially could breach the Forestry Commission’s rules on commercial photography and filming.

Permission to operate a drone on New Forest Crown lands may only be granted by the Forestry Commission for the purposes of filming, operational and scientific/research. Applications for permission must first be reviewed internally and may be issued with constraints and limitations on use if appropriate.

Users which are granted permission (as listed above) for commercial use must show evidence of a CAA licence and appropriate public liability insurance.

Hobby users will only be allowed if they are part of the Beaulieu Aerodrome model aircraft club and use that facility.

To apply for a permit and find out more about costs involved please complete the application form or email  full details of what you are planning, along with your full contact details(including phone number and postal address) to: or please contact us on 0300 067 4601.