We can finally reveal the outcome of the Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground poll for 2019 – and the winner is…
The voting has closed, the scores have been checked, vetted, checked again, and counted again just to make sure. The eighth Nation’s Favourite Shooting Ground is complete, and we can exclusively announce the winners.
Read on to find out who took the overall crown, as well as the regional, discipline and Best Breakfast titles – but before you do, we’d like to say thanks to every single one of you who voted.
These awards are decided entirely by vote – that’s what makes them so well-regarded, as they are a true barometer of the shooting public’s opinion – so we really mean it when we say we couldn’t have done this without you.
You’ll see some familiar names amid these results, and there’s no denying that some of the UK’s powerhouse grounds are as popular as ever. But nothing is a foregone conclusion, and some smaller grounds figure very high indeed in the rankings. Will Southdown hold on to make it three years in a row at the top, or will a new ground unseat it? Read on to find out…
Winner: AUCHTERHOUSE COUNTRY SPORTS
Much as Celtic and Rangers have dominated the Scottish Premier League over the years, Auchterhouse makes the Scottish category in NFSG its own. That’s five regional wins on the trot now for this excellent ground. From the competitions to the Pear Tree restaurant, this is a ground with it all. And of course, it’s placed in the overall rankings a number of times too. Could they finally top spot this year? Find out overleaf…
“Great friendly place, to shoot or just go for a cuppa”
Burnhead Farm, Auchterhouse, By Dundee DD3 0QN
Runner-up: NORTH AYRSHIRE SHOOTING GROUND
“A reliable ground with a great shop”
Blackstone Farm, West Kilbride Road, Dalry, North Ayrshire KA24 5HN
01294 833297 www.continentalshooting.co.uk
Winner: MICKLEY HALL SHOOTING SCHOOL
Broomhall, Mickley Hall Lane, Nantwich CW5 8QN
0800 772 0058
This ground shot up in the rankings in NFSG last year, and has proved it’s not just a flash in the pan by taking top spot in the north-west again.
Founded by Scott and John Barnett, it’s got the pedigree of two internationally capped shooters behind it, and their knowledge really shines through when you see Mickley Hall’s well-conceived and downright devious targets.
All the stands have covered firing points, so you’re guaranteed to be shooting in comfort, even when caught out by a typical British downpour.
“A rarity – a ground both the beginner and the seasoned pro will love”
Joint runner-up: CRABTREE CLAY SHOOT
Crabtree Farm, Crabtree Lane, Cow Brow, Carnforth LA6 1PJ
07818080841 / 07824396945 / 07970065667
“As friendly as it gets!”
Joint runner-up: TOPLANDS CLAY SHOOT
Toplands Farm, Woodplumpton, Preston PR4 0NE
“Lovely, family owned ground”
Winner: HAZEL BANK SHOOTING GROUND
Boroughbridge Rd, Knaresborough HG5 0QQ
Holding on to its position as top ground in the north-east is Hazel Bank, making it four years in a row as champ of this category. And it’s not hard to see why it does so well. Under Mark Lawson’s experienced eye, this ground offers everything, from lessons and competitions to practice across DTL and Sporting. Don’t miss the well-stocked shop when you pay it a visit.
“Super friendly staff, fun new layouts every time you go, and cosy club house with good food”
Runner-up: MARNE CLAY PIGEON CLUB
Marne Barracks, Catterick Village, North Yorkshire DL10 7NP
“Outstanding targets, something for everyone – and they raise loads of money for charity”
Joint-winners: MID WALES SHOOTING CENTRE
Ffinnant, Powys SY17 5QY
Last year there was a two-way tie for the title of Welsh winner. This year, we it was incredibly close – but Mid Wales just pipped Fauxdegla to the post. And you can’t deny that Mid Wales is a hugely deserving ground, continuing to host its share of international-standard events as well as tuition, an excellent gun shop and one of the best views you’ll see anywhere.
“The targets here are truly first class!”
Llandegla, Wrexham LL11 3AL
“This is a ground that’s always developing and improving”
Winner: WEST MIDLANDS SHOOTING GROUND
Hodnet, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 3LH
West Midlands, Hodnet – whatever you call it, this is a ground of the highest calibre, and one that deserves to hang on to its regional award. Not only is it one of the prettiest grounds in England, it’s also got a comprehensive offering, with more than 80 stands, log cabin clubhouse, and an extensive retail offering. The quality of the clays they throw is second to none, too.
“Superb in every way – top topography and well set clays”
Runner-up: RUGBY & DISTRICT TRAP CLUB
Junction 18 M1, NN6 7SN
“A great club that promotes junior shooting”
Winner: SPORTING TARGETS
Knotting Lane, Riseley, Beds MK44 1BX
Our former champion Sporting Targets comes in with another strong showing. In fact, it was only a few votes off making our overall top three. And it’s easy to see why its appeal is so universal. Host of the High Tower Challenge and the Jack Pyke shoot, it’s a ground made by clay shooters for clay shooters, always offering innovation and making sure it caters for every single type of clay fan.
“Well run ground, friendly staff, damn good service!”
Runner-up: GRIMSTHORPE ESTATE SHOOTING GROUND
Scottlethorpe Road, Edenham, Bourne PE10 0LN
“Fabulous ground, brilliantly run and really friendly”
Winner: HIGH LODGE
Haw Wood, Hinton, Saxmundham IP17 3QT
The East of England category in the NFSG poll has become something of a ‘battle of the Lodges’ – and this year, it’s John Bidwell’s High Lodge that narrowly takes top honours.
With someone like John at the helm, you’re always going to get tricky, creative targets to shoot at – and there’s a lot more to this ground, too, not least the luxury accommodation and other activities available.
“Exceptional quality of targets”
Runner-up: ERISWELL LODGE
Brandon Rd, Eriswell, Lakenheath IP27 9FB
“Really good selection of targets in all disciplines”
Winner: SOUTHDOWN GUN CLUB & SHOOTING SCHOOL
Muntham Farm, Findon, Sussex BN14 0RQ
Who else but Southdown? Overall winner in 2018, overall winner in 2017, and certainly in with a very big shout this year too. The south-east must be the most competitive of all regions in the UK – just think of the big names that inhabit this quarter of England – and yet Southdown continues to top the pile year after year. That’s just how good it is.
“Targets, staff, shop and all-round atmosphere are all top-notch.”
Runner-up: HEADLEY CLAY PIGEON CLUB
Costal Woods, off Church Lane, Headley, Surrey
07831 879 200
“So friendly – they always make you welcome”
Winner: SOUTH WEST SHOOTING SCHOOL
Ettiford Farm, Ilfracombe EX34 9RG
South West Shooting School is a regular in these final results, and with the south-west region providing several former winners, that’s no mean feat. A CPSA Premier ground, it offers a multitude of presentations and challenges, can cater for anyone from groups of novices to dedicated competition shooters, and enjoys a location in one of the most beautiful parts of England. A can’t-miss-it stop on any visit to the southwest.
“Friendly and helpful owner and staff. Always a good and testing layout no matter what your level of ability”
Runner-up: BARBURY SHOOTING SCHOOL
BARBURY SHOOTING SCHOOL
Wroughton, Swindon SN4 0QH
“It’s affordable, it’s welcoming, it’s the best”