Drones, filming and photography at Westonbirt

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

Filming, photography and drones

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

If you wish to fly a drone for commercial filming or photography, you must first apply for permission. As Westonbirt Arboretum is within a No Fly Zone, you will also need to get authorisation from Gloucestershire Police; we can help with this. 

We need at least two weeks to thoroughly consider your application, so please leave plenty of time to apply. Please note, third parties cannot give you permission to launch and land at Westonbirt. 

Please get in touch with Helen Chick, our press officer. 
Email: helen.chick@forestryengland.uk
Tel: 0300 067 4890

A drone flying through the forest

Why you need a permit

We control the amount of drones on site to balance the needs and safety of all our visitors and wildlife, while protecting our woodlands for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to thrive. We also want to ensure that everyone can enjoy their day out at Westonbirt without disturbance. 


If your flight is commercial, eg. you will be selling the photos or footage, then we will charge according to our pricing structure. The income from permissions goes directly to caring for our woodlands and managing any impact, such as additional wear and tear, to make sure they are still there to be used for events and activities in the future. 

Drone use in the nation's forests

You must have a permit from us to fly a drone in the nation’s forests for any reason - recreational or commercial. 

Want to fly your drone or film at another Forestry England site? You must contact the site specifically to apply for a permit.  

A bright sun pieces through the autumnal trees that form a canopy over the blue sky