We had a wonderful time at the farm with Phil (Northumberland Sporting Clays). We were possibly a little intimidated: I had shot clays once before about a decade ago with a friend, but had never really had any instruction; we’ve both enjoyed plinking with my old break barrel air rifle in the back garden; and we did have a go at an American-style shooting range in Poland, but all of that is a different kettle of fish. Clay pigeon shooting – along with the etiquette surrounding it – was new to us, but Phil put us completely at ease. Safety was paramount and we spent a good 30 minutes learning about how shotguns work, the different types of cartridges, and working out the best fit for us both. As Phil said, ‘nobody cares if you miss, they only care that you’re safe’ and we learned how to safely handle the guns before the shooting began.

I have to say that Phil is an excellent instructor, he knew exactly what was going wrong in the event of a miss (frequent in my case) and gave superb advice on how to rectify for the next shot. I have always considered myself a poor shot, but with just a few handy pointers, I managed to hit quite a few (although my wife absolutely wiped the floor with me, I have to say!). We both had a huge amount of fun and we’re now very keen to pursue it further.

Thanks Phil for making my wife’s 30th one to remember!

Rob and Jess

As an ancient pensioner I am writing to thank Phil Fairless for the special morning I spent learning how to shoot (and hit) clay pigeons.

Each aspect seemed special from the preparation and safety which was explained with patience and humour while enjoying a hot drink, to being shown different sized cartridges, clays and rifles. The perfect setting by lakeside was a bonus also amazingly hitting the second clay. I loved the smaller, lighter rifle you chose for me.

The whole event was unexpectedly interesting, rewarding, exciting and of the highest quality. This life experience activity suits all ages and abilities and is a perfect birthday or Christmas present for a single person or choosing to book as a group of friends.

Margaret Hobb