A reader is concerned ...

Q: I am planning a drive near 
a neighbour’s property. I do 
not want spent shot falling on 
their buildings and I understand that this is illegal anyway. How 
far do shotgun pellets travel?

A: Shotgun pellets that fall 
on to another person’s land constitute a constructive trespass rather than a criminal offence. It is 
a criminal offence to allow an airgun pellet to leave your premises. That 
said, falling shotgun pellets, though 
not dangerous, are antisocial and should be avoided for the sake of 
good neighbourliness.

Journee’s formula is a good rule of thumb as to how far shotgun pellets travel. Multiply the pellet diameter (in inches) by 2,200 and you will get the theoretical maximum range in yards when a shotgun is fired at the optimum angle of elevation (normally about 29°). Thus an English No.6 shot pellet (0.10in diameter) will travel 220 yards. If there is a following wind, this might increase by up to a further 100 yards.

If you can, always stand the Guns with their backs to any buildings. Tell people when you are going to be shooting and be aware of any noise-sensitive issues — horses, children and so on. An occasional brace of birds will often help smooth the way. Do not make enemies; shooting has plenty already.

A risk assessment – have we done enough?

Q: We did a risk assessment on our syndicate shoot last season and highlighted a slippery stream crossing (two planks of wood) as a potential problem. We have since covered them in wire mesh to improve the footing but wonder if that’s sufficient to protect us from a claim in the event of someone falling off and landing in the water?

David Frost says: Well done for conducting a risk assessment and acting on it. Such appraisals can be a real bore to compile but I’m afraid they are necessary in this litigious day and age. Wire mesh is generally accepted as a good solution in these circumstances – we’ve all seen far worse. However you might consider a handrail if you still think there is a risk.