Once the preserve of hobbyists, drones have seen a surge in interest driven by photography and videography, as the flying technology becomes ever cheaper.
Sales data from e-tailer DronesDirect.co.uk shows that the uptake of drones shows no sign of slowing, with the company experiencing its best ever sales during the month of April 2016.
The UK’s interest in drones has risen 32% in the past 12 months, according to Google trends data, with searches peaking in December 2015, when many would have been searching for drones to give as Christmas presents.
More than two-thirds (68%) of drone owners cite photography and videography as a favourite pastime.
Outdoor activities including hiking and walking (42%), and extreme sports (20%), such as snowboarding and skateboarding, also ranked highly among drone owners’ most favoured pastimes, as owners look to capture footage of the outdoors and their open air activities.
The South East is leading the trend for drone ownership, and is the UK’s current drones hotspot, with more purchases of the flying gadgets in the past 12 months than anywhere else in the UK. Yorkshire and the North West followed in second and third place respectively.
DronesDirect.co.uk managing director Tim Morley said: “It’s fantastic to see how much drones have risen over the past 12 months. Droning is no longer a hobby enjoyed solely by enthusiasts, and the technology is now being appreciated by a wider audience as it becomes used even more for photography, racing or even work.
“The current geographical trends for drones are interesting, with the leading locations both home to large open and green spaces, great for exploration – with the South Downs National Park in the South East, the sprawling Yorkshire Dales, and stunning Peak District close to the North West.”
Men are leading the trend for drone ownership, representing just under three quarters (74%) of drone buyers, compared to 26% of women.
According to the sales figures, the DJI Phantom 3 is currently the most popular drone, followed by the newly released DJI Phantom 4, and ProFlight Seeker – all three of which have integrated HD cameras.