With all the votes cast and tallied, we can now give you the top 5 most voted for in this year’s Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground.
For the ninth time, the UK’s clay shooters have cast their votes in the Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground poll – and now, after two months of voting and a further month of counting up the results, we can finally reveal who’s won.
You’ll find the overall winner at the end of this feature – and we’re thrilled to reveal that we have a new champion this year!
Once again we’d like to say a big thanks to every single one of you who voted.
Since its dawn nearly a decade ago, this poll has become a major part of our calendar and something countless shooters and grounds look forward to every year. But we couldn’t have done it without you – the awards are 100 per cent based on a public vote, so it’s your participation that really gives them meaning.
Haw Wood, Hinton, Saxmundham IP17 3QT
“Great ground with a wide variety of stands. It is often busy but very rarely is there a need to wait for a stand as there are so many to choose from.”
“Simply the best!”
Headley Clay Pigeon Shooting Club
Costal Woods, off Church Lane, Headley, Surrey KT18 6LD
07831 879 200
“An absolutely outstanding club.”
“Wonderful, welcoming family-run ground.”
Knotting Lane, Riseley, Beds MK44 1BX
Voters flocked in droves to Sporting Targets, which returns to the podium four years after after it took the overall number one spot. And it’s a sign of how much the UK’s clay grounds have upped their game in recent years – Sporting Targets is truly phenomenal and would surely have been a deserving winner, but will have to settle for third place.
Its range of competitions came in for particular praise, with the Jack Pyke and the High Tower Challenge combining a ‘fun’ aspect with the prestige of a major competition.
“Excellent facilities along with a range of stands to suit all levels of ability.”
“Efficient, great service, value for money and variety of stands.”
Southdown Gun Club & Shooting School
Muntham Farm, Findon, Sussex BN14 0RQ
No surprise to see Southdown amid the upper echelons of our poll, though perhaps it’s a surprise that it’s not the overall victor. You name it, Southdown has it – challenging layouts, good facilities, major competitions, a dedicated following, and of course, the Talent Pool that aims to find the next big star of the shooting world.
It’s investing in the sport as a whole, not just in itself, and that surely helps boost Southdown’s popularity to stratospheric levels. It’s not the Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground this year, though. Who is? Let’s find out.
“The best ground with the best choice of targets.”
“Targets, staff, shop, atmosphere… they have everything!”
And the winner is…!
Auchterhouse Country Sports
Burnhead Farm, Auchterhouse, By Dundee DD3 0QN
First established in 1989, the ground was a hobby for Gavin Christie that has now turned into much more. Gavin has put his heart and soul into the shooting ground and the rest of the Christie family does the same.
Emma works front of house and runs the Clays Shop while Evelyn, the main administrator, works quietly in the background trying to keep the rest of the family and resident dogs, Paddy, Murphy and Eric, in order. There is also Gavin’s son Drew, who will be a familiar name to many and offers coaching to Scotland’s hopefuls.
Gavin represented Scotland at English Skeet in 1998, the same year Drew was the Captain. Drew has represented Scotland at most of the disciplines, including winning a silver medal for Olympic Skeet at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
It’s certainly not hard to see why Auchterhouse was the winner of the Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground vote – with four Skeet ranges, Olympic Trap, five DTL, one ABT and up to 15 Sporting stands with a 150-foot-high tower on offer, it also provides floodlit shooting through the winter months.
Auchterhouse has a cosy, log-style clubhouse with leather sofas, a pool table and delicious food provided by Lee, the chef from the adjoining Pear Tree Restaurant, which serves anything from a bacon roll to a full meal, from breakfast and lunch to high tea and dinner.
It also benefits from biomass heating so there are no cold days, even this far north. While there, you can take advantage of the shop, which stocks big brands such as Musto, Toggi, Joules, Alan Paine, Percussion, Beretta and Oakley.
This victory is even more momentous when you consider that we’ve never had so much as a single winner based north of Birmingham before. We always thought this was the natural result of there being more grounds and more shooters in the south of England than anywhere else. But so extraordinary is Auchterhouse, so universal its appeal, that it overcame all of this.
What a story, and what a winner.
But Auchterhouse deserve praise not just for winning the NFSG vote, but also for their considerable charitable efforts!
Over the last 16 years, Auchterhouse’s ladies day has now raised over £63,000.
The Shoot – a large shooting day for charity, has also now raised over a staggering £3.2 million in the last 18 years.
What do you like most about Auchterhouse? Its array of disciplines and stands? The atmosphere? The food at the Pear Tree Restaurant? There’s plenty to pick from, and voters in the poll certainly let us know.
If you want to congratulate Auchterhouse on its first ever win – or let us know why we got it wrong! – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Great all round facilities, and a diverse activity programme.”
“Simply everything you need to enjoy shooting.”
“Friendly ground with ever-changing, challenging targets.”