James Farley from Chester has today been announced as the photography winner of '400ft Britain', a drone photography and videography competition hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). James Farley's entry, one of over 1,200 individual submissions to the competition from across the UK, is a stunning image of a lighthouse at Point of Ayr in North Wales which was captured below 400ft - the Dronecode limit at which drones can be flown in the UK.

Point of Ayr, James Farley

The competition was held in partnership with VisitEngland and PhantomFlightSchool and aimed to educate people about using drones safely, while raising awareness of the Dronecode.

The quality of entries was fantastic, and demonstrates the surge in interest that we've seen with drones being used for high impact photography,” commented judge Alan Proto of Phantom Flight School which is supplying the prizes. “As well as the composition, lighting, colour saturation and sheer beauty in these shots; one thing I am consciously looking for is a point of view that simply could not have been achieved except with a drone. This is perfectly captured by the shot of the Point of Ayr, it's a wonderful image.

Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Communications Director at the CAA said, “Drones are the latest 'must have' piece of kit for photographers and video makers. We wanted to create a campaign that encouraged people to enjoy using their drones while highlighting the importance of doing so safely, and we are amazed by the number of breath-taking images that have been entered. 400ft Britain has the Dronecode embedded in its core, and so it was a great way for us to target drone enthusiasts with drone safety messages.

The rules of the Dronecode, which all entries had to adhere to, state:

  • Don't fly near airports
  • Remember to stay below 400ft (120m) and at least 150ft (50m) away from buildings and people
  • Observe your drone at all times
  • Never fly near aircraft
  • Enjoy responsibly

In keeping with VisitEngland's #OMGB marketing campaign to celebrate amazing 'Oh My Great Britain' moments and experiences, budding drone enthusiasts were invited to submit an image or short video of the British countryside. The entries must have been captured using a safely operated drone at no higher than 400ft - the highest point that is safe to fly drones in the UK according to the CAA's Dronecode, a simple set of rules outlining how to use drones safely.

VisitEngland Photography Manager, Jasmine Teer said: "As these spectacular images so aptly demonstrate, Britain is truly the home of #OMGB amazing moments. Imagery plays a powerful role in inspiring people to travel and experience new destinations, allowing them to literally 'put themselves in the picture,' while always making sure to seek permissions from land or property owners."

The competition has been running since October last year and is supported by leading aviation players. The initiative received an impressive number of entries which captured the UK's beautiful landscape. The entries will be archived for all to see on www.400ftbritain.com. Along with James Farley, 17 highly commended entries were chosen to feature in a 400ft Britain 18-month charity calendar which will be launched later this year. The winners were picked by a panel of experts including representatives from the CAA, VisitEngland and PhantomFlightSchool.

400ft Britain forms part of a wider initiative looking at establishing a safe and responsible attitude toward drone flight and usage to protect the safety of the wider aviation industry and the wider sector opportunities. The Dronecode is for consumer drone use, those using a drone commercially must be licensed and undergo an approved course.

Notes for editors

Media contacts
To receive a high-resolution version of the image, or for further information and interview enquiries, please contact the CAA press office, press.office@caa.co.uk or 020 7453 6030 or out of hours 077 89745636.

About the CAA
The CAA is the UK's aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.

About the #OMGB 'Home of Amazing Moments' campaign
The #OMGB 'Home of Amazing Moments' campaign is part of the UK Government's global GREAT Britain campaign, which showcases the very best of what Great Britain and Northern Ireland has to offer as a place to visit. The national tourism organisations of VisitEngland, VisitWales, VisitScotland and Northern Ireland are using the campaign domestically to encourage Brits to holiday at home. For more information go to www.homeofamazing.com.