Monthly Archives

February 2017

Aerial Drone photograph of Grasmere Island Lake District Cumbria filming image video Hovershotz national trust photo

BBC News feature aerial video filming by Hovershotz for the National Trust in the Lake District Cumbria

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BBC News (Breakfast TV, BBC News Channel, BBC Online & BBC News clips) have today been running a news article on the National Trust being gifted Grasmere Island in the Lake District Cumbria. The drone footage in the opening sequence was filmed by Hovershotz.


Click here for story

Hovershotz areal drone video and photographs have been used by most UK & European news bulletins and newspapers.

If any newspapers, press, news channels or journalists require any aerial drone filming or photography at short notice in Cumbria, the Lake District or Lancashire, then Hovershotz can cater for your needs – we are CAA licenced, know the local area and are the only local drone operator with permission to operate at night.

Hovershotz is a professional aerial drone photographer based in the Lake District Cumbria.


Aerial Drone photograph of Grasmere Island Lake District Cumbria filming image video Hovershotz national trust photo

Hovershotz aerial drone image of Grasmere Lake District Cumbria features in UK National Press

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One of Hovershotz aerial drone photographs features in a news article in the most of the UK national press  (Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail & Westmorland Gazette newspapers today – also BBC news channel). The article is about the National Trust purchasing Grasmere Island in the Lake District Cumbria. This image was extracted from a 4K video we filmed for a project for the National Trust earlier this month.

If any newspapers, press, news channels or journalists require any aerial drone filming or photography at short notice in Cumbria, the Lake District or Lancashire, then Hovershotz can cater for your needs – we are CAA licenced, know the local area and are the only local drone operator with permission to operate at night.

Hovershotz are an official supplier and are registered on the systems of the BBC& ITV.


Aerial drone photograph of Claife Viewing Platform Far Sawrey Windermere Lake District Cumbria image by Hovershotz

National Trust Claife Viewing Platform Lake District Cumbria Aerial Drone Video by Hovershotz

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Here at Hovershotz, we have lived in Cumbria and worked in the Lake District most of our lives but we’ve never seen the hidden gem that is the Claife Viewing platform until we were asked by the National Trust to film it. It is located on the shores of Lake Windermere near the ferry at Far Sawrey, Cumbria.  Hovershotz provided some aerial drone photography and video. To be honest when we first saw it we thought it was a Victorian folly but it’s history is far more interesting than that:


National Trust Claife Viewing Platform Lake District

The Viewing Station

Built in the 1790s and later expanded, the building had windows tinted with coloured glass, designed to recreate the landscape under different seasonal conditions. Yellow created a summer landscape, orange an autumn one, light green for spring, dark blue for moonlight and so on.

We’re hoping to re-create this today so you can imagine what these views might have been like, but the modern equivalent is using a filter on your camera or smart phone. Imagine the Instagram opportunities.

In the 1830s and 40s it was used by wealthy visitors for parties and dances. This quote from Mary Maria Higginson, who attended a dinner dance at Claife Viewing Station Cumbria in the nineteenth century, paints a vivid picture of what it was like to come here:

“The very nicest dance that I can call to mind was given by a friend at a place called The Station. It was built on account of the beautiful view it commanded, both up and down Windermere . . . the winding walks around the Station lighted up with Chinese lanterns and coloured lamps made charming promenades.”

A monument

By the end of the 19th century Claife Viewing Station had fallen out of favour and fell into disrepair. Today, the building remains a rare example of a purpose–built public viewing station and is one of the earliest monuments to Lake District tourism.


Blea Tarn with the Langdale Pikes in the background - Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike of Stickle. Lake District Cumbria. Aerial drone photograph by Hovershotz part of a video shoot for the National Trust

Aerial drone flight video from Blea Tarn to the Langdale Valley Lake District Cumbria for the National Trust by Hovershotz Aerial Photography

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Hovershotz are now an official contractor to the National Trust for the supply of aerial drone filming and photography and registered on Proactis.

One of the many projects that Hovershotz have been working on with the National Trust has been to map from the air the Langdale Valley and Langdale Pikes for a mobile Phone App. Here is some of the video footage from that shoot ( Drone film footage of Blea Tarn Lake District. with views of the Langdale Pikes (Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pike of Stickle) and over the Crinkle Crags Cumbria).


Wedding Venue & Aerial Drone Photography Warning in Cumbria & the Lake District

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Wedding Venue Drone Warning in Cumbria & the Lake District

This summer Drone Safe Register™ (DSR) has no doubt that drones & aerial drone photography will be part of many of the nation’s weddings.  We predict that more drones than ever will be flown above wedding venues, especially in the beautiful backdrop of Cumbria & the Lake District.


There is nothing wrong with this, as wedding couples look for a unique way to capture their big day.  However all wedding venues, before agreeing to a drone at the location, must ask drone pilots for the following:

  1. Ask for a copy of the drone pilot’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permission.
  2. Ask for a copy of their commercial drone insurance / public liability

Anybody that allows an illegal pilot to fly at their wedding venue is putting guests and the building at risk of injury and property damage.  If things go wrong, an illegal drone pilot, will not be insured.

Both CAA permissions and drone insurance are mandatory for anybody receiving financial gain for a drone job.  UK law says that anybody operating a drone commercially must possess both CAA permission and public liability insurance.

It is a criminal offence to use a drone for paid work without valid CAA permission and commercial insurance.

Without a copy of these documents it is possible that wedding venue owners may be liable to prosecution if something serious goes wrong.

Most importantly ask for a copy of both these documents. Do not take anybody’s word for it.  Keep these documents filed safely.  Any legal commercial drone operator would have no hesitation in providing these documents upon request.

Perhaps a drone pilot or drone operator is already flying at your venue? Now is the time to check their pilot credentials (licence, CAA PFCO & liability insurance) and protect the safety of your patrons.

Drones in the right hands provide amazing results and help capture unique aerial imagery at weddings. However drones in the wrong hands could very well ruin the day if something goes wrong.

DSR makes the process of hiring a legal drone pilot quick and easy.  We have hundreds of drone pilots searchable by postcode and available nationwide to capture unforgettable aerial imagery at weddings.

What’s more by logging onto DSR you may rest assured that all our member pilots have been pre-checked for CAA permissions and commercial drone insurance. Hovershotz Aerial photography are the DSR approved member for Cumbria & the Lake District

To provide an extra level of safety, DSR displays the expiry dates of all our members’ CAA and insurance documents.  You can find this information in the profiles of all DSR members.


We strive to maintain the highest safety standards in the industry and instil safe aerial flying practise for those that want to hire drones.

Drone safety is our number one priority.   Our mission is to promote our safe and legal drone pilot members.  DSR is calling for tougher penalties for drone operators that fly illegally for commercial gain without CAA permissions. Illegal operators pose a significant danger to the public.  They fly without public liability insurance and have not passed a competency test to prove they are a safe drone operator.  We work hard to promote drone safety and educate the public of the UK’s aviation laws to consider when hiring a drone.

DSR has produced a short educational video to help anybody looking to hire a drone understand the important safety implications involved.


When hiring a drone pilot TAKE NO CHANCES!  Enjoy wedding drones this summer but remember safety comes first.. Our professional drone pilot members are here to help make that special day run smoothly!

To locate a safe and legal drone pilot at your wedding simply log onto the UK’s leading drone hire directory website:

Hovershotz are registered with Drone Safe Register, hold CAA permission for commercial operation (PFCO) have the necessary insurance. For aerial drone wedding photography in Cumbria & Lake District

Fly Safe!

Blog reproduced in full from Drone Safe Register™ (DSR)

Hovershotz the leading aerial photography & video drone operator in Cumbria Lancashire & the Lake District – our story

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Hovershotz, our story – how we got started as an aerial drone operator, before quickly becoming the leading aerial drone operating company in the North West of England (Cumbria, Lancashire, Lake District & Yorkshire.


Hovershotz was formed in 2014 by our pilot, Andy Wills, when he saw a gap in the market for a professional drone operating company serving Cumbria, Lancashire and the Lake District. Andy had been building and flying remote control aircraft and helicopters for over 30 years before coming interested in UAV’s (now known as drones) when they first emerged – this makes Andy one of the most experienced drone operator’s and pilot’s in the UK. Andy is also a keen diploma qualified photographer &  videographer, so the natural progression was to form a commercial aerial drone photography, video and filming company. This combination of 30 years remote control aircraft & UAV experience, coupled with being a professional photographer makes Hovershotz the leading aerial drone operator in Cumbria.

Prior to forming Hovershotz, Andy was an engineer working in the aerospace industry, working with clients such as Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, Ministry of Defence, Rolls Royce and QinetiQ, during this period, Andy was fully security vetted and CRB checked. While working with BAE Systems, the MOD & QinetiQ, Andy was involved in several military drone projects. Andy also has experience in flying fixed wing aircraft (Piper Cherokee from Carlisle airport) and as such, is experienced in speaking with local air traffic control (atc).

To gain permission for CAA permission for commercial operation (PFCO), Hovershotz studied and qualified for the UK recognised UAV drone qualification –  Basic National UAS Certificate for Small Unmanned Aircraft (BNUC-S™). This involved ground school study, to learn all aspects of air law & UAV drone operations in the UK. Following passing the BNUC-S exam, a detailed UAV drone operations manual had to be created and written. The detailed operations manual sets out all of Hovershotz processes and procedures, lipo battery records, flight records, maintenance records and runs to over 60 pages. The operations manual then had to be submitted to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) for them to review and approve Hovershotz operations, process & procedures.

The final part before the CAA issued permission for aerial work, was to pass a practical flight test. There were 3 levels of flight test:

  • Class 3 – Autonomous flight only (pre programmed courses with the drone flying itself autonomously).
  • Class 2 – GPS mode. All flight manoeuvres carried out in GPS mode (plus autonomous flight).
  • Class 1 – ATTI mode.  All flight manoeuvres carried out in ATTI mode (plus GPS mode & autonomous flight).

Hovershotz, opted to take the harder Class 1 flight test and passed with flying colours. Most drone pilots in the UK opt to take the class 2 test (because it is easier and it is recognised by the CAA as a pilot test), Hovershotz chose to do the class 1 test because we want to be the best.

Once Hovershotz were in possession of a BNUC-S UK drone qualification, Full insurance cover to EC Regulation No. 785/2004, a completed SRG 1320 form (plus the correct fee), we applied for CAA permission for aerial work (PFAW) – now known as CAA permission for commercial operation (PFCO). After 6 weeks processing our application – the CAA awarded Hovershotz with PFAW for aerial drone operations in the UK.

Our first assignment was to film the December 2015 storm Desmond floods that flooded Cumbria. This devastated the Lake District, particularly, Carlisle, Ambleside, Appleby, Cockermouth, Kendal & Keswick. The video footage that was uploaded to Hovershotz Facebook page has had over half a million views and 10,000 shares. The video footage was used by all UK news agencies and channels (including BBC, ITV news, ITN, Sky News) and was shown internationally via Reuters to news stations including News 24, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Euronews, NHK World TV, Russia 24). It was syndicated all over the internet and our stills photographs featured in virtually every UK national and local newspaper (including Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, The Times, Barrow Evening News, Cumberland News and Star & the Westmorland Gazette).  This makes Hovershotz the most credible news aerial drone photography & video operator in Cumbria, the Lake District & Lancashire.

We have also completed a very diverse range of projects including:

  • Property (real estate) aerial drone photography for a variety of estate agents & agencies across Cumbria (including Appleby, Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick, Kendal, Penrith, Shap, Workington, Whitehaven).
  • Documentary filming – aerial drone videos for the BBC across the Lake District & Cumbria (including Carlisle, Windermere, Ambleside, Duddon Estuary, Ravenglass, Foxfield, Penrith).
  • Adverts – aerial drone videos across Cumbria, Yorkshire & the Lake District for a number of advertising agencies for TV, film & viral internet use).
  • Cinema & Film – aerial drone filming and video across Cumbria & the Lake District for a number of films.
  • Websites – aerial drone photography across Cumbria, Lancashire, & the Lake District for company business websites.
  • Demolition filming – aerial drone video of chimney demolition in Yorkshire.
  • Wind Turbine surveys and inspections – aerial drone wind turbine inspections surveys up the West Cumbrian Energy Coast. (Sellafield, Whitehaven, Workington, Carlisle, New Hutton).
  • Solar Farm Inspection and Survey – aerial drone survey, inspection, photography and video of solar farm Old Hutton Kendal Cumbria.
  • TV Game Shows – we have filmed aerial drone video for TV game shows across the Lake District (including Cautley Spout, Helvellyn, Ullswater, Striding Edge, Swirral Edge)
  • Shows – aerial drone photography of agricultural shows
  • Sporting events – aerial drone filming and video of swimming, running and mountain biking events. We are licenced to film night events.
  • Forestry inspections and surveys across Cumbria & the Lake District (including Shap, Grizedale & Whinlatter.

We have been employed by the BBC as a pundit to talk about anything drone, particularly when they are running a news feature on some drone related incident or news piece.

We have filmed and photographed all over the UK including Carlisle, Newcastle, Castleford, Leeds, Skipton, Settle, Coniston, Penrith, Barrow in Furness, Penrith, Appleby, Keswick, Ulverston, Ambleside, Windermere, Kendal, Old Hutton, Whitehaven, Workington, Sedbergh, Tebay.

Recently Hovershotz have expanded our activities into 3d aerial drone mapping. We have used our tried and trusted formula of undergoing formal training and gaining a recognised qualification in 3d aerial drone mapping – unlike the many cowboy drone operators who just download a piece of free 3d software and then advertise themselves as 3d mapping experts.

Recently Hovershotz were the first professional aerial drone operator in Cumbria & the Lake District to receive permissiond from the CAA to photograph and film with drones at night and also operate EVLOS (extended visual line of sight) – another first for any drone operator in Cumbria. Our flight logs show that we operated commercially with over 400 hours of flight over the last 12 months – all this combined, make Hovershotz simply the most qualified and experienced drone operator in Cumbria, Lancashire & the Lake District. If you also throw in the fact, that we are formally trained and qualified in photography, videography & 3d surveys – it becomes clear why Hovershotz are the top aerial drone photographer, videographer & inspection professional in the North West.


Not resting on our laurels – Hovershotz are currently upgrading our fleet of drones to the very latest cutting edge UAV’s carrying cinema quality film cameras, stills photography cameras and thermal infrared imaging sensors. This we believe, makes Hovershotz the number one choice for any aerial drone application.



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