Don’t wreck our Sundays

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We have urged Torridge District Council not to permit Southdown Adventure Limited to extend its clay-pigeon shooting to Sundays at Yarnscombe, eight kilometres south-east of Bideford in Devon. It was granted permission for shooting in 2009, but not on Sundays and Mondays.  Now it wants to shoot on Sundays, and on Mondays instead of Tuesdays – which include a number of bank holidays.

We are concerned about the loss of tranquillity in this quiet countryside, particularly on Sundays when people want to get out and enjoy the fresh air without disturbance. We are also dismayed at the adverse effect this extension of the shooting period will have on the enjoyment of people wanting to use the unclassified road, Lashingcott Lane, alongside the site. It is available for walkers, riders and cyclists and is a pleasant, peaceful route.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘There are few places in this area of agricultural land and narrow lanes where people can walk, ride and cycle safely and undisturbed. Lashingcott Lane is one of them. The clay-pigeon shoot already wrecks people’s quiet enjoyment of this area on most weekdays and Saturdays, and we strongly object to their Sundays being similarly disrupted.’

We have also questioned whether the shoot complies with the health and safety requirements in relation to users of Lashingcott Lane. The Health and Safety Executive guidance reminds people that shotgun pellets can travel 300 metres, while the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association safety guide states that the minimum safety distance between a shoot and a public right of way is 275 metres. We believe that at least three of the shooting stands are closer than that. Even if they are not, they are too close for most people’s comfort, and sadly walkers, riders and cyclists will probably avoid this area.

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