NHS trials Isles of Scilly emergency drone deliveries

Preparations are underway to supplement the existing NHS medical supply chains between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly which could be vulnerable to disruption in the event of a second wave of COVID19.

A consortia led by DronePrep has successfully been awarded €200,000 via the Government’s Emergency CV19 Future Flight Fund to fast-track plans to establish a UAV/Drone Emergency Medical Airbridge and consult with landowners about using low-level airspace in Cornwall for emergency drone use.

The Cornish project will run for four months and pave the way for establishing future Drone Corridors, Medical Airbridge capabilities and goods transfer in low-level airspace via Drone in Cornwall. Early during Lockdown, the Transport Secretary (Grant Shapps) instructed the same team to conduct the first-ever Medical Drone deliveries to assist the NHS between Lee-on-Solent and the Isle of Wight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRH7aiULmHc

Now members of the same consortia including DronePrep, Windracers and Consortiq are running a project in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The team includes drone, logistics, transport planning and medical experts.

Windracers Ultra UAV

Claire Owen, Co-Founder of DronePrep comments

“Commencing in September, our team will be engaging with Cornish landowners on both the mainland and the Isles of Scilly to help define future flight plans. We are absolutely delighted to be leading the project which could lay the foundations for similar emergency services to other remote locations.”

Gareth Whatmore, Co-Founder of DronePrep said

“If remote areas of Cornwall are affected by a second wave of CV19 it will be important that we have commenced the necessary consultation with landowners and regulators to prepare for flexible drone deliveries to support the NHS.

 

“The feedback from the public and ground stakeholders on this pioneering project will help us achieve this new service for the people of Cornwall and will help the industry develop more understanding of how to integrate essential emergency Drone services elsewhere in the UK. We are thrilled that the government have supported this project to help maintain the flow of NHS supplies to the Isles of Scilly”

What is a SSSI and why is it important to Drone Pilots

A SSSI is a Site of Special Scientific Interest

SSSIs are designated under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 where they support habitats and/or species of national importance.

Usually, it is an area that’s of particular interest to science due to the rare species of fauna or flora it contains – or even important geological or physiological features that may lie in its boundaries.

The natural wildlife and geological features of SSSI’s are irreplaceable parts of national heritage. These are protected in order to preserve their importance, and to prevent damage and development.

A SSSI can be designated to give higher levels of protection than other designations. This offers more security than other designations – like Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for example.

This status means owners must manage the site appropriately to conserve its special features.


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‘Penalties that can be imposed for criminal offences in respect of a single bird, nest or egg contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is an unlimited fine, up to six months imprisonment or both.’ (2)


How many SSSIs are there?

The UK has thousands of these important sites

  • England has over 4,100 sites covering more than 4,200 square miles. Over half of this area is internationally important for wildlife.

  • Scotland has far fewer SSSIs – just over 1,400 – but the area they cover isn’t far behind England. More than 3,900 square miles of SSSIs is over 12% of the country’s land area!

  • Wales has about 1,000 SSSIs, covering some 12% of the nation’s land area.

  • Northern Ireland has around 400 ASSIs which account for more than 8% of the landscape.



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You can see SSSI locations on the DronePrep Map

REgister for free to see sssi’s on the droneprep map


Flying your Drone over SSSIs

As with all locations, the necessary permissions are needed including checking of all airspace interactions.

We’ve written a whole resource page detailing the following:

  • Can I fly there?

  • Why do we need to consider SSSIs when flying?

  • How does DronePrep help?

https://droneprep.uk/content/sssis-sites-of-special-scientific-interest

The National Trust – Can I fly my Drone?

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in EnglandWales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there is a separate and independent National Trust for Scotland.

The National Trust is the one of the largest private landowners in the United Kingdom. The trust’s land holdings cover nearly 1.5% of the total land mass of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A large part of this consists of parks and agricultural estates attached to country houses, but there are many countryside properties which were acquired specifically for their scenic or scientific value. Separately, National Trust for Scotland assets cover approximately 1% of all the land in Scotland.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Trust owns over 248,000 hectares (610,000 acres; 2,480 km2; 960 sq mi) of land and 780 miles of coast. Its properties include over 500 historic houses, 149 gardens, castles coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, mills and pubs. The National Trust is responsible for restoring, protecting them and making them accessible for considered use.

Separately, the National Trust for Scotland own and manage over 10,000 miles of Scottish coastline, 76,000 hectares of countryside, 46 majestic munros, over 90 historic homes and 35 gardens.


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You can see all National Trust locations on the DronePrep Map

The Map is an exclusive Member benefit

The National Trust’s influence also extends to assets they do not own. In Scotland the National Trust for Scotland have special rights of conservancy for 400 sites which they do not own. Whilst in England the trust owns or has covenants over about a quarter of the Lake District; it has similar control over about 12% of the Peak District National Park (e.g. South Peak Estate and High Peak Estate). It owns or protects roughly one fifth of the coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and has a long-term campaign, Project Neptune, which seeks to acquire more.

Most of the National Trust’s properties with the United Kingdom are open to the public for a charge (members have free entry), while open spaces are free to all subject to observation of National Trust Byelaws.

National Trust countryside property is designated at many levels including National Parks, AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). The Trust also owns and manages 149 registered gardens of special historic interest


Flying your Drone on National Trust Land

As with all locations, the necessary permissions are needed including checking of all airspace interactions.

We’ve written a whole resource page detailing the following:

  • Can I fly there?

  • Why it’s important to engage with the National Trust

  • How can DronePrep help

All DronePrep resources are a member benefit – so you will need to register to read the full resource page. Basic Membership is completely free:

Already Registered? Make sure you’re signed in, then either head to your Member Dashboard > Resources , or just click the article link HERE

How to Register your Drone

Have you invested in a new drone? Maybe bought your first ever drone?

Congrats! This is great news and we hope that you have many happy hours of flying ahead of you.

We’re working hard to create a list of resources for Drone Pilots to ensure that you stay safe, compliant and that you understand the reasons why you may be required to register your drone. In fact we’ve written a whole page about How to Register your Drone which covers:

  • Why this is important

  • Current legislation

  • Upcoming changes to legislation

  • What a Flyer ID is

  • What an Operator ID is

  • What the Theory Test involves

  • How to register as an organisation to use drones

  • How to label your drone correctly

  • What could happen if you don’t follow the guidelines

  • Links to the necessary sites


The DronePrep team are always on hand to help answer any questions you have, but you may want to read the Resource page in full. All DronePrep resources are a member benefit – so you will need to register to read, but don’t panic! Basic Membership is completely free 🙂

Already Registered? Make sure you’re signed in, then either head to your Member Dashboard > Resources , or just click the article link HERE

London Zone 1 Lockdown Drone Flight

Francis Holland School, Sloane Square

During an inspiring Royal Aeronautical Society event in February 2020 which covered the amazing exploits of Richard Browning (Gravity), Nick Dyson, Francis Holland School’s Director of Creative Enterprise and DronePrep’s Gareth Whatmore hatched a plan over coffee aimed at inspiring the schools students. The goal: to demonstrate how we could use Landowner consents to open up the largest ever low-level airspace envelope over Central London.

A few weeks later in the midst of lockdown, a brief was agreed to realise this plan. We knew this project could raise spirits, help galvanise the students who were working remotely and to achieve London first which the School could be proud of.


Taken by DronePrep Pilot-in-Residence Chris Gorman, aka Big Ladder Photographer

Taken by DronePrep Pilot-in-Residence Chris Gorman, aka Big Ladder Photographer

The Sloane Square school lies within London’s Zone 1, and is deemed a very congested area therefore any drone flight within this region requires a number of permissions, including landowners, NATS, CAA and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

After receiving the brief, DronePrep started the necessary consultations to ensure the flight would be compliant and safe which included speaking with the Grosvenor Estate and Cadogan Estate which resulted in opening up 400 acres of low-level airspace.

PfCO DronePrep Pilot-in-Residence Chris Gorman (The Big Ladder Photographer) was able to advantage of the quiet streets and brilliant air quality that London experienced during the initial lockdown period. The footage is simply stunning and it was a absolute pleasure to work with Francis Holland School on this project and open up the largest ever flight envelope in Zone 1, London.


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We are delighted to continue the collaboration with the London school on more pioneering work and STEM projects in the making.

 


The project caught media attention and was recently featured in The Telegraph

The project caught media attention and was recently featured in The Telegraph

 

If you have a Drone project brief you would like to discuss, please get in touch with DronePrep Founders Gareth Whatmore & Claire Owen.