A POPULAR stately home has introduced 'flying zones' for drone pilots to capture footage of its stunning grounds.

With the rising popularity of drone flying, Kiplin Hall and Gardens has published its Drone Access Policy detailing how pilots can enjoy exploring the skies over the rural North Yorkshire estate.

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The policy is the first of its kind for recreational flight.

Two flying zones have been created in the policy, one over the lake and its shoreline, and the other an L-shaped zone over the estate parkland beyond the peninsular wood.

There are approximately 250,000 hobbyists and 10,000 professionals flying drones in the UK, creating a boom in low-level airspace traffic.

The Civil Aviation Authority has produced the UK Drone Code, which details how pilots can fly safely and legally.

Many historic sites, areas of natural beauty or private landowners have banned the use of drones, leaving pilots grounded without space to fly.

But there is an emerging market of venues creating safe places to fly, with clear guidance, outlined in Drone Access Policies.

Director of Kiplin Hall and Gardens, James Etherington, explains why they’ve taken the decision to allow pilots to fly at Kiplin.

The Northern Echo:

Footage taken by drone at Kiplin Hall

He said: "The estate has a long tradition of recreation.

"Built as a hunting lodge in the 1620s and throughout its life as a family home, Kiplin has hosted various pursuits including boating, fishing, orienteering, walking and trail running, even curling on the frozen lake in winter.

"As technology advances so do our hobbies.

"As a venue we must keep up with trends in how people want to enjoy our outdoor spaces.

"As an independent charity tasked with preserving the Hall and estate we rely on ticket income to continue our work.

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"Appealing to a new audience of drone pilots will help us to do that.

"Kiplin’s grounds have a lot to offer with ample space for pilots and regular visitors to enjoy. Kiplin provides the ideal backdrop for drone pilots.”

Mr Etherington explained that the fly zones mean that drones will be no-where near the historic architecture of the listed buildings and hall and accessed will be paused during lambing season.

He added: "It’s a trial for the autumn months, which are often quieter for us, so we hope that pilots will be a new audience for us.

"The drones will not alter other visitors' enjoyment, and some might even find them an interesting addition.” 

The Northern Echo:

Drone flying is a growing hobby in the UK

Drone-Prep, who have worked with Kiplin on this project, connect landowners and drone pilots to open up low-level airspace for safe and responsible drone flight

Claire Owen, Co-founder and CTO of Drone-Prep, said: "Kiplin Hall and Gardens recognises the benefit of responsible drone use, encouraging visitors to share flight footage on social media which will promote sensible drone flight as well as the venue as a visitor attraction.” 

Pilots wishing to fly at Kiplin Hall and Gardens will need to produce their Flyer ID, Operator ID and insurance on arrival, and must follow the UK Drone Code.

Pilots will need to be ticket holders to access the site and will be required to check in and out at main reception. 

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