Popular gun club facing closing if new grounds cannot be found

Countryman Gun Club chairman David Meadows (centre) and long-standing members

Countryman Gun Club chairman David Meadows (centre) and long-standing members

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After 46 years of clay pigeon shooting, the well-known Countryman Gun Club is facing closure if new grounds cannot be found.

Renowned for their generous fundraising contributions to local charities such as The Chestnut Tree House and St. Catherine’s Hospice, the 100 member strong club are devastated by the news and are reaching out to the county in the hope that a new location may be found.

With scoring records dating back to 1971, the West Grinstead-based club have raised tens of thousands of pounds over the years for local organisations and charities in addition to continuing the hundred year old countryside art of shooting clay pigeons.

Countryman Gun Club chairman David Meadows said: “After 46 years on the Knepp Estate our members are desperately saddened by the decision which puts the future of the club in serious jeopardy.

“Some of the original members are still shooting today and some, unfortunately, are treasured memories. Newer members, especially the younger generation, will be sadly unable to progress with this countryside tradition.

“At our dinner in February, at the Countryman Inn, we will be presenting 43 trophies perhaps for the last time, celebrating success in a wide range of competitions.

“We now have to face the future and search for another site close to our area of Shipley. We must thank Sir Charles Burrell for his support since the stewardship of the Knepp Estate passed to him from Sir Walter Burrell in 1985.”

The club hosts two open shoots each year, six skeet and 12 sporting mornings plus one have-a-go shoot to complete the season. Membership reaches out across the community from a multitude villages from Horsham to Worthing.

The non-exclusive club, who meet once a fortnight from Easter to October, offers low-cost shooting thanks to a dedicated group who give their time and expertise freely in keeping with the clubs non-profit making policy.

They’re now seeking a new site, ideally within reasonable distance of Shipley. If you can help, contact David Meadows on 01403 741379 or d.meadows377@btinternet.com

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