So if you're a shooter, what's the law on shooting near a highway? A footpath? Shooting close to residential areas?
Shooting near a footpath
Q: Where a field is bordered by a public footpath, what is the minimum distance at which one can safely and legally shoot a shotgun?
A: The law lays down no minimum distance in relation to shooting near to a footpath. Legally, you may shoot as close to it as is safe and sensible.
If a footpath is rarely used you are unlikely to have a problem. However, if the footpath is popular with the public then on shooting days you need to bear in mind, not only the safety issue, but also the one of public perception.
It is important for the future of shooting we maintain cordial relations with other users of the countryside. Whatever the legal situation don’t shoot close to, or over, a footpath if there is any risk you might cause offence and get bad publicity for our sport.
In some circumstances it can be a good idea to station a stop or picker up on a footpath to chat to any walkers who may come past. It’s a good way of creating a dialogue with the non-shooting public and many walkers will happily stop and watch the drive for a few minutes, if asked nicely.
There are plenty who will applaud if they see a dog doing a good retrieve. Footpaths are an ideal PR opportunity but should never become a battlefield with the public. DF