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Conservators accept Drones experience invite despite banning stance

Malvern Editorial 19th Aug, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MEMBERS of Malvern Hills Conservators (MHC) have accepted an invitation from one of the town’s leading festivals to have a hands-on drones experience despite the group banning the flying machines.

The Conservators will learn all about drone flying during the Malvern Festival of Innovation’s themed family day on Saturday, October 8 at Priory Park.

The Conservators were set up by an Act of Parliament in 1884 to protect and manage the Malvern Hills and surrounding commons. To help do this, a set of byelaws were made with one stating the use of unmanned aircrafts was not allowed.

This means drones cannot be flown on land under the jurisdiction of the Conservators without prior permission.

As well as demonstrations by drone operators and static displays the family day will include drone racing and drones completing a series of obstacle courses.

Festival Organiser Adrian Burden said: “We want to show the Conservators that some drones aren’t at all threatening, can be virtually silent and are not something to be overly concerned about.

“They (drones) are going to play an increasing role in our society and their benefits far outweigh any perceived problems.

“Indeed, across Europe and in the States, trials are on-going to establish how drones can be used as ‘early responders’ for search and rescue teams as well as the emergency services.

“It makes sense that drones are able to reach inaccessible and remote areas more speedily that manned vehicles.”

Duncan Bridges of the Malvern Hills Conservators said: “We welcome the opportunity to see the variety of ways in which drones can be used and recognise there are clear advantages of using drones for monitoring and photography and filming purposes.

“Where appropriate to do so, MHC will provide permission for such projects. With a large number of visitors and sensitive and protected species on the Hills and Commons, it is important that we ensure drones are used in right places at the right times.”

The Malvern Festival of Innovation, now in its fifth year, showcases social, technological and business innovation and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the UK.

This year, the Festival has an even more packed programme throughout its six days from October 3 to 8 and promises something for every age group.

To find out more about the festival visit http://www.festival-innovation.com/programme.

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