Shooting ground Reviews
The Elm Farm boys are based in the Midlands of England, We try and get round different grounds for variety, and the following reports are a positive view of our findings. It is not our intention to act as unpaid marketeers for any of the grounds, neither do we feel it is right to hurt anyone's business by being overly critical. If we dont like it, we don't come back simple as that. The reviews are set out in alphabetical order. Prices where indicated are correct for August 2020, unless stated. Most grounds offer better rates for members.
Atkin Grant and Lang
Neat little ground some way off the M1 in Herts. Mostly set in woodland, mostly English Sporting, with what looked like a couple of Sport trap layouts that could be used. We think there were 16 sporting stands set up when we shot there in Early May 2021. Very few no birds. The ground is well laid out, with all weather paths between the stands. The stands themselves warrant comment - One of them was a lovely stone built grouse butt, which gave us a strange feeling of shooting at ground level. Most of the other stands were enclosed on three sides with heavy planking up to about 6ft. This meant that plenty of the birds are well up in the air. A number of non enclosed stands allowed for low crossers etc. Clays were £42/100, all on Claymate, and there were a number of nice Brownings in the gun room. Beware that the ground is fibre only. There is the usual food available and plenty of external seating, with some of it under cover in case of rain.
Close to Rugby, the ground is plainly part way through a re modelling exercise. We last shot there in August 2020 as the ground re opened after being closed down for some months. Plenty of work still to do. Loads of bare earth banks but new hardcore tracks, and plenty of sporting stands. Looks like the DTL has gone but there are two skeet layouts one of which doubles up as a Compact Sporting layout. Variety of targets as you'd expect, including a fair number of tall crossers. Cant recall exactly how many sporting stands, guess would be around a dozen .We didn't try the Compact, we had tea and cakes instead.
Food available though a much reduced menu during the Covid restrictions of August 2020. Clays are £31/100
Ian Coley Sporting
The ground near Cheltenham has the Sporting course set in woodland. They also have at least one DTL layout. The setting is lovely, some real thought has been put into making it smart and keeping it smart, with paths and a number of covered shooting stands. Traps are well looked after so our experience is that no birds are few and far between. There are usually a good variety of targets with some 'gimmes' for Simon, and more challenging stuff for the rest of us.
Plenty of parking, cartridges available for purchase. Gun room with a large stock, together with clothing and accessories. We've been there when there has been food available and we've been there when there hasn't - guess you just have to take your chances with that. Clays currently are £40/100
Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground
The spiritual home of the Elm Farm Boys. Grimsthorpe is set in a great big wood with targets set both within the trees and out over the adjacent fields. Plenty of target variety, some dead easy ones (which are easily missable) through to distant crossers which are launched from a trap in Lincolnshire, and fall to the ground in Norfolk. No DTL or skeet (that we know of) just good old English Sporting at its best. From memory 14 or15 stands if they are all on.. which they usually are. They got a tower as well. We don't get there as often as we'd like, but the targets always seem pretty different, so we'd guess they are changed regularly.
Good parking, good food on site. Club house facilities are absolutely top notch. Bit of a trek from the club house to the first stand though. Friendly staff. No gun shop, not even sure if they sell cartridges cos we've never asked – they probably do though. You can book a golf cart to get round if you are so inclined. Clays are £32/100
Kibworth Shooting Ground
South of Leicester, easy to find. They've got a couple of Compact layouts, Skeet, DTL and plenty of Sporting. Twelve sporting stands throwing a real good variety of targets, plus a pretty tall tower.. They also have half a dozen training stands with easy novice targets, that we find quite testing. There is a team on site that maintain the traps and keep them filled, 'no birds' are rare. Targets get changed weekly so there is always something new to test your skill set, or absence thereof. The size of the ground means there are pretty much no restrictions to the sort of targets they can lay on. They can be pretty innovative, there is occasionally a target bounced of a trampoline, and the pond allows the target setters to skip clays across the water like Barnes Wallis's bouncing bomb. One of the few grounds we know where you can be shooting down onto targets in a valley.
Friendly staff on the ground and Renee in the cafeteria does an extensive English Breakfast based menu. (She no longer has the Confit de Canard or Salade Nicoise on the menu though). Plenty of parking, really excellent value shooting, huge range of cartridges very reasonably priced. Gun Room with a good range of Brownings, plus accessories like gloves, slips, cleaning kit etc. Clays are £30/100 for up to 100, £28/100 for over 100, all on claymate. You really must make sure Kibworth is on your list of go to grounds.
Lakeside - Lakeside Sporting Ltd.
The shooting ground shares the land with a number of fishing lakes. The ground is set out in two 'phases'. Nearest the club house are the compact layouts with plenty of good targets, and some novice type training stands. Then 'round the 'back',. there is access, via a rubble track, to a string of sporting stands. Plenty of variety with a good split of targets above and below the horizon. Access to some of the compact layouts is via staircases. We've found that the sunken Compact layouts provide just about enough targets for a mornings shoot, without having to venture beyond them to the sporting stands on the 'back' track.
The club house is very good indeed, with some sofas as well as dining tables and chairs. Club house serves a really good breakfast plus cakes and drinks. Impressive gun room with loads of Brownings. Cartridges available, and the shop attached to the gun room sells a pretty large range of gun slips, gloves, clothing etc.
Awaiting write up, though we ought at this point to mention the absolutely epic chilli hot dog on offer.
A huge ground, with 165 traps set out in a variety of layouts. They got a tower or three, grouse butt, various sportrap layouts and skeet and DTL. They claim that at at any one time there will be 50 stands up and running, and we can well believe it. Its the sort of ground that can absorb huge numbers of shooters and yet still not have queues for shooting. There are plenty of covered shooting stands though that is only of value if it stops raining when you have to walk to the next stand, overall though with plenty of trees, the ground is quite sheltered. For comedy value you really must shoot the 'Rat' target one of the early stands on the 'Cuttings' layout.
Gun shop, cartridges for sale and a counter selling accessories for shooters. Clubhouse sells a range of food and drink. Plenty of parking as well. As the ground is so large they offer golf carts so that the less nimble can get to the most distant stands without expiring. Clays are £35/100 with a 5% allowance for no birds, which we felt was fair.
Wedgnock Shooting Ground
Set on the western edge of Warwick the ground is situated in 100 acres or so, part of which is given over to team building and other outdoor activities. They have a neat little Sportrap layout, plus skeet and DTL clustered around the clubhouse. These layouts are under cover, and properly flood lit in the winter. This is the only ground we know with adequate lighting for winter evening shooting. No food on sale (except Sundays) but plenty of indoor and outdoor seating if you bring your own.
The sporting layout has around 12 to 15 stands at any one time, including a tower, a Grouse butt and a 20 bird mini flush if you press the right button. The stands are reached by an all weather track, they offer a good variety of targets including some of the quickest crossing clays we have ever seen. It's a big ground which can absorb plenty of shooters so there's never any waiting for stands to clear. A good mix of targets, some of which are in woodland. Ground uses claymate and the traps are well looked after so there don't tend to be many no birds. Sundays mornings and Tuesday evenings are always available to shoot, if you want to shoot at any other times then it is best to book ahead. Clays are £28-30/100 depending on what disciplines you shoot, so some pretty good value shooting. No gun room, but a small selection of cartridges are available, reasonably priced..