Over 70 people turned out last weekend (14 October) to give ten youngsters a day to remember at Whitehill shoot, near Canterbury, ensuring the future of game shooting is stronger than ever. The ten newcomers to driven shooting, each with their own mentor, experienced a full day’s shooting, facilitated by the fantastic cooperation of the Whitehill shoot syndicate, friends and families, both young and old, who acted as beaters.
The youngsters were instructed in handling and safety, game management practices and respect for the quarry, helping them embrace and appreciate every element of a day’s shooting. These ten guns, ranging from 9-16 years old, were given a fantastic opportunity to learn on an amazing shoot, with the added benefit of a BBQ game lunch. Local game dealer Turner’s Game provided the meat and the barbeque, reinforcing the field to fork message.
The day generated £400 for the Countryside Alliance Campaign for Shooting, which had supported Whitehill shoot over the summer when it was targeted by animal rights activists.
Jack Knott, Campaigns Manager for the Countryside Alliance, who went along on the day, said: “Allowing the next generation to learn in this safe and secure manner is essential for the future of our sport. Everyone remembers their first experience of driven shooting, and the Countryside Alliance was delighted to be part of it for these ten young children.
“Safety and responsibility are essential for shooting and it is fantastic to see Whitehill shoot allowing children to learn in a fantastic environment on such a beautiful shoot. The bag total of 39 was a fair reflection of some beautiful birds put over the guns and some cracking shots from the future of shooting.”
The Countryside Alliance wishes to thank Julian Tuck and Colin Hemmings, co-captains and chief organisers of the Whitehill shoot syndicate. In addition, the day could not have happened without the invaluable guidance of the mentors who gave up their time, including England sporting clay team member James Attwood, international clay shooter Kevin Howland, Scott Collett and Gary Westwood from Greenfields Shooting School, Colin Gardener from West Kent Shooting Ground and Jason Hayes the proud dad of shoot mascot Jack Hayes. Syndicate co-captain Julian Tuck commented; “It is nice to see that some of the country’s top guns still find the time to give something back to shooting”. The Whitehill team also called upon the services of Charlie Duggan to capture the day’s events in his particularly impressive style.