This is, of necessity, a very subjective list, and I have not shot on all these shoots, but I have shot on some of them (marked *), and have taken into account the views and opinions of people who know far more about shooting than I ever will, and have been lucky enough to have shot on the shoots which I have not shot on.  So, the following list is a collaborative effort, and does not  claim to be a definitive list, but rather a personal selection.

 Angmering, Sussex*  This 6000 acre estate marches with Arundel, and the shoot was improved and enhanced over 25 years by Nigel Clutton and Colin Cowdrey, who both married ‘Norfolk  girls’, i.e. the sisters of the Duke.  Sadly, Colin died in 2000, but Nigel has continued the good work and Angmering is now bearing the fruits of their labours, and the result is one of the best shoots in the south of England.  Guns meet and have tea in a beautiful period barn opposite Nigel’s house.  Also, beware the twenty different types of sloe gin and vodka, which appear  during the mid-morning break, and his fundraising activities for good causes during lunch and tea; make sure you have plenty of spare cash!  But he is a great host.

Nigel Clutton tel; 01903 882220

Arundel, Sussex.  This 15,000 acre estate has been the site of an ambitious and innovative wild game conservation project over six years, led and masterminded by the Duke of Norfolk to successfully re-establish substantial wild grey ‘English’ partridge populations on two Arundel Estate farms in the South Downs National Park, which won him the 2010 Gold Shield at the Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation.   The Percy boys (Ralph and James) came down from Northumberland recently to join a team of Fitzallan-Howards, and the resulting bag was an astonishing 291 greys, 305 redlegs, 42 pheasant and 3 pigeon!  An observer said that the Percy boys were a joy to behold, as they shot with near clinical efficiency, and modest too.

Contact: Peter Knight, Estate Manager Tel: 01903-883400

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Sunday, December 30th, 2012