Commercial use of nature reserves


Commercial use of nature reserves

Filming by Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Our nature reserves are important places for wildlife and beautiful places for people. If you’d like to visit any of them for commercial purposes – from photography and filming to professional dog walking and forest school use – you’ll find more information below or you can get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page.

We consider each request on an individual basis and take into account any potential disturbance to wildlife, implications for staff time and costs as well as the intended audience for any work.

Fees vary according to the length of the activity and the nature of the enterprise.

Please note that requests for night-time filming and fires are never granted permission.

Commercial photography

Commercial photographers wishing to use our nature reserves for location photo shoots (bluebell woods, wildflowers meadows etc) must seek permission to do so.  There’s a code of conduct to abide by that includes all members of the party remaining on paths at all times to ensure no damage to habitat or threat to wildlife.

If you take photographs of wildlife or of the sheer beauty of our reserves that you subsequently sell, please consider making a donation to the Trust in order to help us manage these special places.

Commercial filming

As with commercial photography, anyone wishing to film on our sites must seek permission.  With each request we will take into account the impact of the filming on the location and visitors, the staff time taken to manage the filming as well as the perceived benefits to the Trust for participating. 

We receive a number of requests from film students to film on our nature reserves. We will take into account our usual criteria (above) but typically ask for a donation rather than a fee.


Drones can disturb wildlife and are very rarely permitted on our reserves.  Any requests should be from fully licensed and insured drone pilots.  Requests will be considered as commercial use and fees will apply.

Please refer to current Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) legislation and be aware that as well as wildlife, our reserves often have visiting members of the public walking through them (drones should not be flown within 50 metres of any person except during take-off or landing or within 30 metres of any person except for the person in charge of the aircraft).

Requests without the following will not be considered:

  • A current and valid Permit for Commercial Operation (PfCo) from the CAA
  • Details of your Drone Registration Identification number
  • Evidence of a valid drone and public liability insurance
  • A risk assessment for the proposed drone flight
  • A flight plan for the proposal
  • A technical specification for the make/model of drone to be used

If you are licensed and would like to occasionally volunteer your services to help with our conservation management, please get in touch.

Professional dog walkers

Dogs are welcome on many of our nature reserves but must always be kept on a lead or, at three of our nature reserves, under very close control.  Dogs off-lead can threaten wildlife and be a concern to other visitors to our nature reserves.  If you are a commercial dog walker and wish to use our nature reserves to enjoy your dog walks, please get in touch.

Forest schools

Whilst we thoroughly encourage outdoor learning for all, our nature reserves are very special refuges for wildlife.  Unauthorised visits, regular or otherwise, by forest schools to our nature reserves are not allowed.  We have a programme of controlled and regulated led visits to nature reserves and may be able to accommodate your group that way.  Please get in touch for further information.

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