ShootClay visits… St. Dials, Monmouth
Set in picturesque South Wales countryside, is St Dials Farm, home to the family run Hart Events team, who have built an excellent shooting ground, with a reputation for top quality targets.
ShootClay took the trip across to shoot at the UK FITASC Championships – over two days at the beginning of May 2013. The ground is easy to find, only being a short 5 minute drive from the centre of Monmouth, which has a number of good accommodation and food options if you are travelling from further afield and want to stay in the area.
The site has ample parking – and a short walk into the main farm-yard will bring you to the clubhouse where a warm welcome awaits, as well as excellent quality hot and cold food at a decent price. Whilst this might not be the most salubrious log cabin club house, the facilities are more than adequate for hardy shooters.
The ground is set on the side of a hill, with spectacular views back across a wide valley – and a variety of terrain to set the shooting layouts on. As ShootClay was there for FITASC sporting we faced three layouts, all very different in their set up – there was a shooting over open fields, from tree lines and some creatively placed pegs that shot across paths and hedgerows into fields way below your feet. I was really impressed with the target presentation, good variety with fantastic use of the topology to create interesting angles, and deceptive lines.
In terms of access – some pathways had been covered with gravel to make walking easier on the open field – and all of the paths inside the wooded areas had been neatly covered and edged to make access easy. The whole site looked neat and tidy, despite 200 FITASC shooters wandering through the place, I saw a handful of no birds over the whole two days of shooting, and any breakdowns or trap refills seemed to be handled quickly and efficiently.
Overall – whilst St Dials lacks some of the luxury of some grounds, it more than makes up for things with good targets, a warm welcome and a great atmosphere throughout its events. I will definitely make the return trip for more shoots, and if you are in the area or fancy a change, I’d highly recommend St Dials.