In 2017-18 a National Churches Trust partnership with the Ulster Historic Churches Trust, supported by the Pilgrim Trust and working with McCollum Conservation, saw an initiative which successfully used drones to survey churches in Northern Ireland at a high level.
There was high demand for participation in 2018 with 16 churches benefitting from surveys, work plans and grants and additional funding in 2019 has allowed a further 8 churches to benefit.
Elaine MacNeill from Cooke Centenary Church says, “The drone survey and report identified areas of work required. Without a drone survey we would have been unaware of these problems as having a “bird’s eye” view of the roof is not something we ever anticipated having available to us.”
The value of the drone surveys has been confirmed by a number of very useful findings and some unexpected ones, such as watching out for gulls, a common sight around Church towers in Northern Ireland, during the nesting season.