Q: I am buying a house in the country with some land where I can shoot clay pigeons from time to time. I believe I should not allow pellets to cross over onto a neighbour’s land but what else do I need to know about? 

What range from the shooting position should I allow both for safety and legal considerations? Obviously I wish to avoid annoying my neighbours and causing them any nuisance, but what other legal considerations must I take into account if I want to shoot clays on my own property?

A: David Frost replies

Technically if your pellets fall on your neighbour’s land you are committing trespass. Even more important is the fact that you are likely to lose his goodwill, which you obviously don’t want.

Bear in mind this comment from a farmer. “”We generally don’t mind people shooting over our land as long as permission has been granted. On the other hand they are not allowed to shoot over vegetable crops because if shot is found in the head of a plant the supermarket will reject the entire field. Which costs us a lot of money.”

So there are practical issues such as the design of the layout and placing of traps.

clayshooting ground

Starting shooting with clays

 The first clay pigeon shoots started around 1885 as an affordable alternative to competitions using live pigeons as targets. Shooting…

Safety range on a clay ground

The usual safety distance quoted is 300 yards but the distance a pellet travels depends on wind strength and direction, pellet size and whether it’s steel, bismuth, lead or Hevishot.

For example, Hevishot fired downwind in a strong breeze could go more than 300 yards.

Noisy neighbour

Your biggest problem is likely to be noise disturbance you cause and that of course will depend on how far you are from your neighbours.

If they’re close enough for noise to be a potential issue then you need to get them on side before you start and tell them of your plans. Otherwise they may complain to the council about noise pollution.

The benefits of belonging to a clay pigeon shooting club

Bearing in mind all of the above, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to provide trouble-free facilities as good as those on offer at your local clayshooting club.
By the time you’ve factored in the expense of setting up your own layout you probably won’t save much money either.

Furthermore, if you do a lot of shooting on your own land you could run into planning issues if the council thought you were using it as a clay range.