In the continuing Chrimbo Limbo – I decided to give the registered shoot at Westfield Shooting Ground a try. It’s a fair old run out for me, so luckily decided to car-share with a friend (and member of the ShootClay Forum) and we headed off for the 90 minute (ish) drive out towards Cheltenham.
Driving into Westfield is lovely – rolling Cotswold countryside and big skies. We were lucky, driving through some rain around Oxford but then into bright day as we dipped down into the valley where the ground sits. The Clubhouse is amazing – nestled at the bottom of the valley with hills on all sides, there are some lovely seating areas, a decent food-bar, wood burning stove and a warm welcome from the team there. At 10.10 we were about card number 30 – and soon met another forum member and set off for the first stands. 100 birds is £37 at Westfield – well worth the admission price alone for some of the views, let alone the targets!
The stands were set out in a big irregular loop – up the side of one hill, through some lightly wooded areas, and then down the other side. There was a massive variety of targets today, all thoughtfully presented by Steve Lovatt – no ‘gimme’ stands in the 12 that we shot, and some really tricky ones.
We opened up with an easy looking going away left to right followed by an incoming right to left – but not easy at all, a real tester of a stand – and things only got trickier from that point onwards – for me anyway! We had some fantastic targets, really using the landscape to great advantage as well as some towers and cherry pickers to give some targets an excellent dimension. Particularly memorable for me was a stand with a long right to left crosser, followed by a high teal which really picked up some wind, a lovely simo pair of loopers that looked as if it should be simple – but did for me a little. A couple of nice driven stands including a simo pair of driven – midi, followed by std that needed some quick thinking.
A complete variety of stands that provided a stiff test, there were some definite furrowed brows all the way round with the wind adding to the course to make it a really tricky affair. Steve and the team at Westfield pride themselves on putting something out for everyone, and making a shoot fun and enjoyable and they definitely succeeded here.
As for my scores – I finished on 48 – which was 10 off my average, and about 15/18 below my recent weeks scores – I think that was pretty fair reflection of a stiff shoot, the wind and some silly errors on my part. The targets were tough but fair, and I cannot wait to get back and try this beautiful ground again.
Full details of Westfield (as well as Windrush and Weston Wood) are on the Clay Shooting Company website, along with fixtures and events coming from this great team.