The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

The variety show

Jasper Fellows heads to Devon to visit the revitalised Ashcombe Shooting Ground and the many attractions it offers

clay shooting

There are more than 150 practice targets to keep shooters busy

Ashcombe Shooting Ground and Adventure Centre will be familiar to many readers in the south-west. For more than three decades, clays have been flung across this beautiful corner of Devon.

But change is afoot. A new team, headed by the well-known clay aficionado Don Brunt, has taken root on the Ashcombe Estate, and its efforts to further improve the venue is already showing fruit.

“Ashcombe Shooting Ground first opened 30 years ago under the stewardship of the Staples family,” Don explains. “They did a great job in creating the foundations for what we hope Ashcombe will become in the future. The current team came to Ashcombe last year. While the Skeet, Rabbit Skeet, High Tower and Compak facilities were all in place when we arrived, we have been working on widespread improvements across the ground.”


He continues: “The Sporting course, for example, has seen extensive renovation, with additional shooting positions added to take the total number of stands up to 25. Over the years, our team has been fortunate enough to experience targets throughout Europe, America and the Middle East, and we hope to emulate some of the best presentations we have encountered elsewhere here in Devon.

“Equally, we understand that an important part of the legacy of Ashcombe is that it appeals both to our regular locals and to those wanting to travel further to experience everything we have to offer. As such, we strive to ensure that the mix of targets includes plenty to suit all abilities – from ranges of 15 yards out to beyond 50. We also adjust our targets on a regular basis, with 15 or more stands altered each month to keep the experience fresh.”

With so many targets and disciplines on offer, it can be hard to know where to start. Thankfully, Ashcombe’s card system makes it simple for licence-holding visitors to enjoy everything on offer at their own pace.

“Pay & Play practice shooters are welcome to enjoy the entire ground,” says Don, “though when we have our English Sporting, Super Sporting or Skeet competitions running, the practice offerings do contract a The variety show  Ashcombe’s Skeet arena is ideal for more competitive Shots 46 – 2 Shotgun Club Call Jasper Fellows_Philip_PA.indd 40 28/06/2023 15:55

Great subscription deals at AUGUST 2023 SPORTING GUN 41 little. But we aim to have at least 150 practice targets open at all times. All of these targets can be accessed using our card system, with each set of buttons including a delay option for those who wish to shoot solo.”

Skeet shooting

Ashcombe’s Skeet arena is ideal for more competitive Shots


Speaking of competition, Ashcombe offers a packed calendar of events. “We host CPSA registered Sporting, Super Sporting and Skeet events every month,” Don says. “Plus, we’re always looking for ways to bring exciting special events to the ground. As this issue goes to sale, we will have just hosted two events in partnership with Browning – the Maxus Masters and the Browning Sporting Masters.

“These events were generously supported by Browning, who offered up a wide range of prize guns and other sponsored prizes. We hope to run many more competitive events like this in the future, so keep an eye on our website, where visitors can now book on to their events of choice and see their results post-event.”

If you need a bit of a confidence boost ahead of your next big shoot, then who better to turn to than Don himself or his team for some pre-competition coaching?

“Justin Smith, Paul Williams and I all offer coaching here at Ashcombe. We’re all experienced clay and game shooters and can call on a variety of coaching methods to suit the needs and abilities of any students who want to learn more about the sport and boost their scores.”

You may get lucky and learn some of the tricks of the trade from the staff over a cup of coffee and a bite to eat in the clubhouse café. “The café is great for a pre-shoot breakfast, or a midday meal,” says Don. “The Ashcombe mega-breakfast is enough for the heartiest of appetites, while there are plenty of other dishes to choose from.”

So, it would seem, whether you’re looking for a wide variety of clay disciplines and presentations, competitive events or dining options, Don and the whole team at Ashcombe Shooting Ground have you well covered.

“We are very lucky here at Ashcombe,” says Don. “We are in a spectacular part of the world, set amid the beauty of the Devonshire hills, yet easily accessible and just a stone’s throw from the end of the M5. We offer a friendly welcome and a huge variety of targets. We really do have something for every kind of clay shooter.”

Burger and fries

Classic shooting-ground fare is served up in the clubhouse

Who’s who?

Don Brunt doubles up as managing director, head coach and target-setter. On arrival, you will be greeted and signed in by Simone Oliver, who’ll happily explain what targets are available to shoot and take your food order, which will be prepared by resident chef Mike Medland. Out on the estate you’ll find groundsman Paul Williams checking on traps and keeping the grass looking beautiful, or possibly even helping with corporate entertainment. Justin Smith is an Association of Professional Shooting Instructors qualified coach and assists Paul when he isn’t coaching.

Useful information

What’s on offer?

English Sporting, English Skeet, Compak, Sportrap and FITASC practice.

When is it open?

Wednesday-Saturday, 9.30am–5pm Sunday, 10am–3pm Shooting hours extend to 8pm on Thursdays during the summer months.


Tuition costs start from £55 per hour, while advanced instruction is available at £70 per hour, excluding clays and cartridges.

Where is it?

Ashcombe Shooting Ground,  Colley Lane, Ashcombe, Nr Dawlish EX7 0QD