Filming on Exmoor

Exmoor is renowned for its wild deer and ponies, dramatic coastline, rugged heather moorland, rolling hills and picturesque villages. The landscape has inspired poets and artists for centuries, including the Romantic poets Shelley and Coleridge and R.D.Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone and today, offers beautiful locations for filming.

What do you need to think about?

If you want to film or take photos for professional or commercial purposes and you have a filming location in mind, it is vital to secure landowner permission. Without it, you will not be able to start filming.

It is also important to note that much of Exmoor is in private ownership, so you will need to approach the relevant landowner directly. Your filming agreement will be with the relevant landowner. Unfortunately, this is not something Exmoor National Park Authority is able to facilitate.

It is also worth noting that as well as being a designated National Park, Exmoor is home to many other areas of importance (for instance Scheduled Ancient Monument, Site of Special Scientific Interest or a Special Conservation Area). You may well need additional permits and licences from other bodies (such as Natural England) if you wish to use these sites.

Can I film on land the National Park own?

Yes, of course. While Exmoor National Park may be the smallest National Park in the UK, the Authority own roughly 7% of the land within the designation. This is significantly more than most. Please do have a look at our asset list and see if any of the locations suit your needs and we will be happy to accommodate.

Please do remember, that you cannot film on Authority land if you do not have express written and signed permission from the Authority.

What do I need to consider if I want to film on Authority land?

Like any rural landscape, Exmoor is a living and working environment, so it is key for you to get in contact with us as soon as you are able. We therefore require notification of your proposal at least 7 days in advance (the earlier the better) so we can consider your application, understand its impact on your chosen location and liaise with our stakeholders, tenants and/or graziers where necessary.

On this basis, we do reserve the right to refuse your request. This may occur if we do not have adequate notice from you, it coincides with other events or work taking place at your chosen location or it has the potential to disturb or damage Exmoor’s protected habitats and wildlife.

Are there any associated fees to filming on Authority owned land?

Yes, and you will also need to consider this when looking for a location. These costs will of course vary depending on the nature of your production. We consider the location, the number of the cast and crew, the environmental sensitivity of your chosen location, if you require additional support from National Park Officers (such as our Rangers), whether any additional equipment, such as off-road vehicles, are needed and how much National Park admin support you need. Each application will be considered individually.

Can we film using drones?

Yes, the use of drones is becoming commonplace, but there are rules governing their usage. It will be your responsibility to be aware and adhere to the current regulations surrounding drone usage.

As with more traditional filming methods, any commercial operators of drones (i.e., film production or for aerial survey contracts) must have landowner permission. Therefore, if you want to use a drone on Authority land, you will need our permission to film, take off and land. Without it, filming will not be possible.

Further, we can only give permission for you to film our land, if you wish to take more sweeping aerial shots, you will need to contact all the relevant landowners for their permission. Please also be aware that some landowners do not allow any kind of aerial footage to be shot over their land.

I want to film on Authority land, what should I do next?

If you want to use our land, please complete the filming permission form with as much detail as you can. This helps us to best understand your project and calculate the appropriate fee.

In addition to our filming permission form, we will need:

  • All relevant risk assessments (for your company and any contractors you are using)
  • A signed licence/location agreement
  • A copy of your public liability insurance certificate (this must offer a minimum cover of £5 million)
  • A clear plan/map showing the area you wish to use (ideally on an OS basemap of 1:25,000)

If you wish to use a drone, we will require:

  • Information concerning the drone including make and model
  • The drone operator’s formal Unmanned Aircraft Systems qualification, accredited by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)
  • Specific public liability insurance and aviation insurance liability cover
  • A detailed flight plan
  • Evidence that you have secured the landowner consent from other relevant landowners

Please note, that unless explained, absence of any of the above information will limit us from progressing your request to film.

More info on drones here

Exmoor is a beautiful place to capture, so we look forward to hearing from you. Help us support our communities, by using local contractors and buying locally sourced food and drink when you are here.