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UK shoot profiles

Burghley Estate shoot

Author: Matt Kidd

For the Burghley Estate Syndicate in South Lincolnshire, a day's shooting is all about the camaraderie, banter and laughter.

Syndicate shooting began in the mid-Victorian period, when groups of newly-rich but landless businessmen started to rent the sporting rights on estates within easy reach of towns and cities. Initially, those involved worked hard to create small walked-up shoots, but often struggled to cooperate with resident gamekeepers. In Scotland, meanwhile, innovative Victorians gave wealthy professionals and businessmen the chance to form syndicates to rent or lease mixed shooting. This was popular....

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Claughton Hall shoot

Author: David Egan

With pheasants, partridges, grouse, ducks, moorland, woodland, ponds and waterfalls – and exciting plans going forward – the Claughton Hall Shoot in Lancashire is about as diverse as it gets.

Dating back to Elizabethan times, Claughton Hall in Lancashire had originally adjoined Claughton Hall Farm. By the 1920s it was derelict and used as a farm store. Edmund Morse, managing director of Williamson’s Lino, bought it and remarkably had the Hall moved between 1931 and 1935, away from the noisy A683 and railway, to its present site. The move cost £26,000 (£1million in today’s money). Claughton Hall originally started with 60 acres, but over the past 40 years it has grown to...

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Graythwaite Hall

Author: Matt Kidd

The Graythwaite Shoot in the Lake District is back, and it has everything going for it.

There is something quite special about crunching your way across a gravel courtyard towards the entrance of a country manor house. As you take each step closer to the heavy main doors, you can’t help but think of the rich history behind them and wonder whose footsteps from bygone years you may be retracing. This is precisely how a day at the Graythwaite Shoot in the Lake District started for me back in November. The beautiful Graythwaite Hall was constructed in the 17th century by order of...

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Rotherfield Park shoot

Author: Rupert Godfrey

A return to the Rotherfield Park shoot in Hampshire for a wonderful day's mixed shooting.

PHOTOGRAPHER  /  MATT KIDD The first time I shot at Sir James Scott’s Rotherfield Park was in 2010, the year Malcom Brockless took on the gamekeeping on a third of the 4,000-acre estate as part of a Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) experiment to see whether grey partridges could be re-established. With 1,000 acres of woodland and quite heavy soil, the estate is more suited to wild pheasants than partridges. Add to that a grazing herd of cattle and silage-making on the...

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Shuckburgh Hall shoot

Author: Will Pocklington

Owned by the same family for over a thousand years, the Shuckburgh Hall shoot in Northamptonshire strikes a beguiling balance between treasuring the past and thinking about the future.

Tradition is an inherent part of game shooting, and yet, stop for a minute and consider what has changed over the past few hundred years, and our oft-quoted ‘stuffy and archaic’ sport appears a little more pioneering. Flick back through David S. D. Jones’ fascinating pieces in previous issues of Fieldsports and you will find many examples of tools and practices now relegated to the past: man traps and spring guns for tackling poachers; the use of tethered broody hens on rearing fields;...

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Stowlangtoft shoot, Suffolk

Author: Will Pocklington

The Stowlangtoft shoot syndicate in Bury St. Edmunds has been in operation for over 75 years, so what's the secret to success?

Many will associate the year of 1936 with the death of King George V. It was also the year that the Spitfire took to the skies on its maiden voyage, suntan lotion became a ‘thing’ and the average price of a house in London was £519. Meanwhile, in the Suffolk village of Stowlangtoft, just a few miles north of Bury St Edmunds, the Catchpole family hosted their first ever syndicate shoot day. Driven shooting began on the then 10,000-acre Stowlangtoft Estate in the late 1800s. Indeed HRH...

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Temple shoot

Author: Will Pocklington 

The Temple shoot in North Devon is a positive example of how a hard-working team with a sound awareness of the challenges which face shoot managers can create something exciting.

PHOTOGRAPHER  /  RICHARD FAULKS For those lucky enough to get their fix of game shooting by way of generous invitation or through involvement with a local muck-in-and-make-the-most-of-it syndicate, it’s quite easy to lose track of how much a let day’s driven game shooting costs. I’ve seen this first-hand with friends who fit nicely into the above bracket. They enjoy several seasons of shooting on one another’s farms, perhaps find themselves on the odd day through work, but when...

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Five of Norfolk's finest shoots

Author: Matt Kidd

A shoot day akin to a tasting menu... One lucky team enjoys a day's sport on a quintet of Norfolk’s finest driven shoots.

Norfolk has long had a reputation as one of the foremost counties for driven partridge shooting in the UK – the flat arable land, and thick, high hedgerows so well suited to the sport in its traditional format. However, despite my family’s annual visit to watch the famous autumn bird migration, the chance to pull on the tweeds for a day’s shooting had evaded me until November last year. I had been invited to join a team of Guns on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT)...

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