Blencathra – a bird’s eye view

I’ve almost completed filming the spring chapter for ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra’ now and I’m pleased to say it’s all gone extremely well. I’m thrilled in fact. It’s been a tough few weeks mind, nailing shots of the fell from near and far at dawn, dusk come wind, rain or shine.

I’ll be showing an exclusive 15 minute segment from the documentary tomorrow at a talk I’m doing for the British Mountaineering Council in the Peak District HERE

Last week’s trip involved 4am starts and 7pm finishes as I endeavored to capture various angles of Blencathra with a UAV or as commonly referred to “drone”. The long days were strictly about me adhering to all the rules and regulations with regards to flying such devices which often meant being out and about when none of the busy Easter holiday daytrippers were slogging up the fells. You can read more about the rules and regs HERE from the Civil Aviation Authority. Sadly as YouTube has shown in recent months, too many folks are not sticking to the CAA’s guidelines. Flying too close to the general public, or in some cases with regards to Lakeland not aware of the fact that the RAF regularly train amongst the Cumbrian fells. There’s a website where the RAF reveal training days in the area for example so folks like paragliders and what have you understand any possible risks.

I’ve been busy practicing with the drone since last December – usually on a relative’s private land. I was keen to know the limits of the craft, how to deal with any possible emergencies and of course nail some of the more cinematic maneuvers I’m aiming for. And of course I’ve had to learn all the legalities of such aerial work and seek assurances and permissions.

Thankfully last week the weather proved very benign – perfect flying conditions and consequently I manage to collate about an hours worth of footage covering Blencathra during this current season without any problems. Job done! “Less is more” so they say and no doubt I’ll only use about 5 minutes worth of footage in the final documentary I’m producing.

I head back again this later this week to complete my planned ‘spring’ shoots (at ground level) and then after a short break, I’ll be focused on summer. So all in all despite exhaustion and clocking up some miles, everything is on schedule. Which is rather unusual to say the least!

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