Monthly Archives: September 2016

Trail talk: Drones- are they an intrusion?

So, here it is. I went for a walk today, a very enjoyable 13 miles on my London Countryway charity walk (the miles continue to fall- 132.5 miles done). I exited a wood and joined a short stretch of road. Then I heard a loud buzzing in the air over my right shoulder and I saw a drone speeding off ahead over the field beyond the hedge to my right.

“Ah” I said to myself, ” a drone, not seen one of them on any of my walks before”

… and walked on. A hundred metres further on I exited from beneath a large spreading Oak tree to find the drone directly in front of me, stationary in the air, some fifty feet up, buzzing furiously. I ignored it but found it then lowered to around twenty-five feet, and tracked me as I carried on my way.

My companion for part of the London Countryway today

My companion for part of the London Countryway today

I have no idea where it had originated, who was operating it and I was on a public thoroughfare. What was very obvious, was that I was being tracked and observed, at quite close proximity. I soon left the track, joining a bridlepath that went off to the left and down a long and rather lovely sunken lane. At intervals I could see it as it waited at gaps in the vegetation to watch me before moving on to the next vantage point. The noise was a constant.

OK, it was no real threat, it was only for some quarter of a mile, but it got me to thinking. I am very much a ‘live and let live’ type of guy. I have my interests, many people have their interests. Fine, everyone can get on and do what they like as long as no one is hurt and no harm done.

I know there are a number of outdoor people, quite well-known bloggers amongst them, that like to use a drone. I am aware of the existence of such things, I don’t live under a rock. But have never ever encountered one on a walk. I have watched countless stunning pieces of film, shot at height over quite beautiful countryside. But is this also the future? Unknown, unseen individuals, flying their drones overtly close to anyone they wish?

Surely there is an expected and accepted code of conduct. Or am I being unreasonable?

A little further on I met a horse rider and chatted about what I had seen- ” Oh no” said the rider, indicating her horse, she continued- “we had one over our heads a few weeks ago and he absolutely flipped out”

Not just me then.