Posted: 17/06/2015 at 00:10
I believe it to be a common hornet and therefore quite safe if unprovoked.
The pattern on its' abdomen is wrong for Asian hornet.
The visitor centre at Hickling Broad nature reserve in Norfolk had a nest inside a display barn owl nest box. So long as you were quite and calm you could get right up close and watch these fascinating insects from about 18 inches away.
Please don't let media hype about alien invaders colour our attitudes towards our native fauna. Hornets, like wasps are great predators of garden pests.