Can I fly a drone on the Commons?
The simple answer to that question is "No".
We do understand the increase in popularity of drones and that people are looking for places to use them in the area. Several website articles on state, incorrectly, that flying drones is permissible on Wimbledon Common and this has meant that our Keepers have been dealing with many more complaints recently. Sadly, we are unable to allow visitors to use them on the Commons.
Under our Byelaws, the flying of any model aircraft, including drones, is not permitted. This is for several reasons:
- Privacy - Drones and their cameras are a potential invasion of the privacy of visitors - even inadvertently taking photographs of people will be subject to the Data Protection Act.
- Safety - three riding stables use the Commons for horse-riding and, indeed, our Keepers are also on horseback. The noise or sudden appearance of a drone can easily spook a horse and cause an accident.
- Protection of Wildlife - there is concern over the effect of drones on wildlife, particularly during nesting season.
- Disturbance to Visitors - by far the biggest complaint we receive is about the noise and disturbance for visitors who come here to enjoy the relative peace and quiet that the Commons offer.
For more information on drones, please visit the Civil Aviation Authority's website which will give you all the information you need.