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Metal detecting & drone flying

We seek to encourage responsible use of the foreshore and estuaries that we own. If you are interested in metal detecting, or flying an UADevice over this land, please read the information below.

Anybody wishing to carry out metal detecting on Crown Estate foreshore (defined as the land between mean high water and mean low water) may do so without a formal consent from The Crown Estate, however this is strictly subject to the Terms and Conditions and any third party right(s) as indicated under section 2 of the Terms and Conditions.

This permissive right applies to Crown Estate foreshore only and not to the seabed, river beds, or any other Crown Estate land. Your permissive right to metal detect on our foreshore is subject to detectorists adhering to The Treasure Act 1996.

Metal detecting and mud-larking on the River Thames foreshore requires a separate permit from the Port of London Authority.

Finds above the low water mark are generally the property of the landowner, unless classified as Treasure. Wreck found on the seabed may still legally belong to a third party, therefore we recommend that any finds, particularly whilst you are diving or snorkelling, are not removed and are reported to Historic England and the Receiver of Wreck.

Drone flying / Unmanned Aerial Devices (UAD)

We grant permission for UAD flights over Crown Estate foreshore (defined as the land between mean high water and mean low water).  

This permission is subject to all operators complying with the applicable laws, statutes, regulations and codes, as well as the requirements of The Civil Aviation Authority, and obtaining any other necessary consents for the operation of UADs. Click on the link below for more information.

On occasions, third parties such as Government agencies or local authorities may restrict the flying of UAD's on Crown Estate land. We therefore recommend checking with the appropriate authority to ensure that no such restrictions are in place.

To find out which areas of foreshore we own, please use our Foreshore and Estuary Ownership Map. 

Useful documents

Find out more