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to feel very uncomfortable with neighbour's drone filming habits?

(134 Posts)
WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 07:45:25

We have relatively new neighbours - moved in to rental house next door less than a year ago, husband and wife, about 50 yrs old, work long hours, he works shifts, quiet and friendly enough. All fine and we were relieved that they turned out to be nice because let's face it, it is always a gamble with new neighbours (we lived next to a nasty one many years ago and the experience was horrid and unforgettable).

The new neighbour (the man) is a hobby wildlife photographer and has a Facebook page, which he invited me to follow, and I do because he is nice and his photos are lovely. He has recently bought a drone that can film in very high quality and travel very long distances. He put his first bit of footage on his facebook page. It filmed from his garden out over the fields behind our houses and back, showing our house and back garden very clearly. That made me feel a bit weird, because we like our privacy, and suddenly random people on social media got a view of a bit of our lives, you know?

Since then he has been using it out the back, presumably practicing with it. We have seen it flying around in the field behind our houses. A couple of evenings ago we were having our usual coffee in the conservatory and the drone was hovering at and then flying past the very end of our garden. We obviously don't know whether he was capturing us (sat in our window) in that footage but it felt uncomfortable because, as said above, we like being private and don't like feeling like we are now potentially on display as we do our normal private things at home.

We haven't mentioned either thing to him because it is awkward. We and easygoing, avoid conflict, and good neighbourly relations make a big difference to having a happy life! 😄 Yes, that makes us sound like saps but it is just that we have reached that stage in life where we can't be doing with other people's nonsense 😄

This morning, though, I have felt quite upset by the drone thing. I got up at 6 and went out in my dressing gown to let the chickens out, as usual, and found that the drone was directly above the middle of our garden!! I stood there staring at it until it flew away and he landed it next door, so am guessing he could see me on his display screen. AIBU to feel intruded upon? I do not want to have to make sure I am decent just to walk through the back of my house (windows at the back have no blinds and are not overlooked by anyone). We have 3 kids, two of whom are still young enough to happily wander around the house and garden partially clothed, and in the summer often wander around naked. We really like living in a house and location where we are not overlooked, not because we do anything weird or illegal 😄 but because we are just private people. This situation is very uncomfortable. Am still pondering what to do about it, whether to go talk to him about how it feels, or post a message to him throgh his facebook page the coward's option or what? I believe what he is doing is not within the bounds of the law because he is 'filming a person within 50 metres without consent'.

Don't need this crap. And I know some of the other neighbours, who are also having their back gardens captured on film, would not react so passively.

Any thoughts on handling this sensibly? I don't think I should write FUCK OFF in white stones on my lawn, not yet anyway!

Imbroglio Tue 16-May-17 07:48:13

The white stone idea sounds perfect grin.

CruCru Tue 16-May-17 07:49:19

I see your point. It is a bit like having someone peer in your windows.

Please don't put anything on FB. Invite him round for a coffee and say something like "I know that you enjoy using your drone but would you mind terribly not flying it over our house? It feels the same as having someone peer in all our windows".

Imbroglio Tue 16-May-17 07:49:21

Write "no filming, please". Otherwise it will go viral.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Tue 16-May-17 07:49:49

He's not allowed to.

sonjadog Tue 16-May-17 07:51:06

Ask him not to film you or your property. Don´t make a big deal out of it. Just say you saw the film and noticed the drone above your garden and you don´t like it and could he please stop.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 07:53:03

sonjadog yes, it really is that simple. Need to grow me a pair of balls and just do it.

AlternativeTentacle Tue 16-May-17 07:53:23

I'd probably go round there and speak to them. Is it them that is renting or you?

AlternativeTentacle Tue 16-May-17 07:54:50

it feels the same as having someone peer in all our windows".

OR...just go and stand in front of their windows staring in and when they come out and ask you to stop, tell them that is exactly how you feel about the drone filming you in your dressing gown in your garden so they need to stop it now.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 07:55:20

crucru You are right. Although am in no mood to do coffee with him after this morning.

Would it come across as very full on if me and dh went round together to do a doorstep chat? Thing is, you think someone is nice from over the fence chats etc but then they do something weird like film your property, and it makes you wonder what kind of person they really are, makes you more wary, you know?

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 07:55:58

fuckyourchris - good link. This bit in particular: Flying over someone's property is more of a grey area. Currently, the rights of a property owner are restricted in relation to the airspace above his or her land to such a height as is necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of his land.
In other words, you can fly in the airspace over their land (but not higher than the general rule of 400ft) as long as you do not cause a nuisance, infringe their privacy or otherwise interfere with the "ordinary use and enjoyment" of the land.

BrownEyedLady Tue 16-May-17 07:56:16

Talk to him about your concerns regarding your children. Any decent person would totally get that and make reassuring sounds on hearing it. Tell him about the chickens incident too ans how uncomfortable it made you. Say it all as calmly and reasonably as possible. You'll tell a lot from his reaction.

AlternativeTentacle Tue 16-May-17 07:57:41

Thing is, you think someone is nice from over the fence chats etc but then they do something weird like film your property, and it makes you wonder what kind of person they really are, makes you more wary, you know?

Then tell them this.

In other words, you can fly in the airspace over their land (but not higher than the general rule of 400ft) as long as you do not cause a nuisance, infringe their privacy or otherwise interfere with the "ordinary use and enjoyment" of the land.

And this.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 07:58:04

alternativetentacle love it 😂

They are renting, we own. So more difficult for us to run away from the problem 😄

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 08:00:40

My friend just suggested dh does some naked gardening. Might work!

Lilmisskittykat Tue 16-May-17 08:02:40

It's an criminal offence to fly a drone within so many meters of buildings and people. - aviation act.

Only know cause relative is a police officer and he was advising brother about using his without getting in trouble.

HerOtherHalf Tue 16-May-17 08:03:07

Plan A: a friendly chat explaining that he is invading your privacy and asking him to stop.
Plan B: buy a paintball gun or high power catapult. He'll soon change his flight path when his drone starts getting shot down.

Lilmisskittykat Tue 16-May-17 08:04:03

Actually I like the paint ball gun idea.... such fun ! 😂

N0tNowBernard Tue 16-May-17 08:04:11

I feel for you OP, how awful and annoying. I would feel uncomfortable too. I'm struggling to see how someone would think this was ok too, especially hovering over the middle of your garden! He should take it right out into the fields, nowhere near people's houses. I'm sure he's not spying but it really isn't the point.

Littledrummergirl Tue 16-May-17 08:04:39

Looks like it's covered under dpa and harassment laws.

YellowPrimula Tue 16-May-17 08:05:27

He is probably just excited about his new toy And hasn't given the implications for you a thought .I would just explain in simple terms about feeling uncomfortable , use the chicken incident and your children as examples no also the fact that he put an identifiable film of your garden and house on Facebook.Hopefully he has just been a bit thoughtless.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 09:30:35

Good link littledrummergirl. All those 'responsible usage tips' are just absolute plain common sense, which makes it so odd that he doesn't follow them.

yellowprimula that is what I would like to think, and if I hadn't got so upset this morning, that is exactly how I would like to rwtionalise it if I heard someone telling me the same story. I think I am too ragey to act sensibly about this now. I need to let it lie during today (plus I know neighbour sleeps off the night shift on a tuesday so will not go to wake him up). I will talk it through with dh when he gets home, take it from there. Actually, I think sending fh round for a chat would be better than me. He is very good at explaining things calmly and clearly to people.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 09:35:20

My thoughts exactly, notnowbernard. I mean, it was a bit odd to have him filming in the back field because the facebook footage showed how high the film quality was, so our house/garden/family were not exactly an unidentifiable blur in the background, but we were kind of ok with ignoring it in the short term.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 16-May-17 09:36:46

Paintball gun...catapult? Ahhh, now we're talking 😄

Crunchyside Tue 16-May-17 09:38:39

My husband has this sort of drone and is very careful about sticking to the rules. He only films in remote, large open space locations like Beachy Head! He would never use it in our back garden. People have been decapitated by drones in the past so it's very risky to fly them over populated areas.

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