UAS (Drones)

Learn how we handle requests to fly UAS (drones) at our sites.

Filming with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drone offers a unique opportunity to appreciate and capture our sites from a whole new point of view. When revealed from above, it becomes apparent just how magnificent some of the shapes and designs of the properties under our care really are. For example:

  • The magnificent Caerlaverock Castle and its triangular layout that can only be fully appreciated from above
  • Blackness Castle, said to be the ship that never sailed, from the air you can see just how much this stone marvel looks as though it is about to launch itself into the sea

Looking for consent?

We welcome the opportunity for our sites to be captured, however as drones become more popular and more widely used, we also have a duty of care to protect our historic monuments and ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

For this reason anyone who wishes to operate a UAS on property under the care of HES must obtain prior consent. For all applications to fly a drone, whether for commercial or personal use, commercial fees will usually apply unless the project is of exceptional promotional or collaborative value to HES. 

Please carefully read our drone policy for information on drone usage at our sites before contacting us at and we'll send you an application form to start the process. 

UAS policy Request UAS application

Application process

Please note that applications are taking a little longer than usual to process due to the implementation of new COVID-19 procedures and the additional approvals which are now required for all activity at our sites. Please get in touch as early as possible to help us accommodate you.

The length of the application process will depend on a variety of factors: the pilot’s preparation of the drone flight (outlined in our guidance), site staff availability, the requirements of the historic site in question, and the complexity of the request.

Although our team will endeavour to turn around an application as quickly as possible, all drone pilots should allow for up to 10 working days (or longer for more complicated application requests).