THE Government's proposals for regulating drones will come as a relief to farmers in West Somerset.

My office has been receiving a steady stream of complaints from landowners about irresponsible flying. Ministers are working on legislation which will end the current, virtually uncontrolled use of drones.

The rapidly-developed technology has seen the devices adopted for use by emergency services and the engineering and construction sectors.

But the Government is becoming increasingly concerned about safety and privacy issues as well as the potential threat to aircraft stemming from their growing use by hobby fliers.

Measures to be announced in the spring will probably include training and licensing for drone owners and powers given to the police to seize and retain a drone’s components if there is reasonable suspicion of it having been involved in an offence.

Leisure users could be obliged to use airspace awareness apps to register their flights and to make drone use more accountable and transparent, while a maximum flight ceiling of 400 feet and mandatory exclusion zones around airports and other sensitive sites are also being considered.

Farmers certainly don’t want them near livestock because animals can be easily scared by them - and such cases are already being brought to my notice. Obviously we do not want them flying over installations such as nuclear power stations, either.

There is also the matter of intrusive noise. Some of the wilder areas of our national parks may appear ideal places to fly drones but their presence can easily shatter the very tranquillity which attracts so many people.