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Coniston Shooting Ground


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Mate and me had a trip down here this morning, for a look see, as we’d never been before. 
First impressions were very good, with a smart clubhouse and a small gun shop; the only thing of interest to me however, was a straight hand stocked Winchester 23, for just over a grand. Looked a nice gun. 
We collected a card and headed up the back to the Sporting layout amongst the trees. Some well presented targets made for interesting shooting within the trees, but after a while they seemed to grow very repetitive, with the majority consisting of quartering up and away and the odd looper. 
Really enjoyed the tower which consisted of a rabbit followed by a high driven, then a quartering driven, followed by a looper ( if I recall ) and a teal which seemed well out of range, but obviously wasn’t .....it just took the shot a while to get there! 🙂

Had a bit of fun on a slow bunny followed by ( yet another ) quartering away target which dropped so fast it seriously put at risk the health of two cock pheasants which had strolled onto the layout! None of our shooting put them off! 
The bolting bunny which bounced off the trampoline was fun too! 😀Had another go on the tower etc on the way back, and enjoyed it so much I ran out of cartridges. 
A quick brew and then back out, this time with my Remington 3200 trap gun. 
The grouse butts stand was just brilliant fun, with those driven birds just little black clouds of dust as they met the shot from full chokes! Struggled a bit with those low right crossers but it was just brilliant! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Big smiles all round. 
Used most of my cartridges up on that stand and the Compak layout, which again had me smiling like a Cheshire Cat as I straighted it on the third attempt. 🙂
Finished off on the DTL which I also enjoyed very much; it’s nice to do it properly when the opportunity presents. I really really enjoy using the Remington and intend to use it more often. I haven’t had it up to Westlands yet, so that may be next.

Overall impressions? Enjoyed our visit very much. It may be a lot busier of a weekend or when normality returns, but for all I know it may always be like this midweek. 
The people we met were friendly enough and the clubhouse is great.

Wheelchair access is a no go for some of the sporting layout, but overall it was very enjoyable. Will be back. 

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Been well over a year since I've been up there! Great place to learn consistency/focus on the dtl/skeet layouts. I found the compak and tower provided the tougher stuff! I generally stayed until I learned how to hit them consistently 👍👍

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I go to Coniston quite often but it's very boring as nothing gets changed often enough, and as Scully mentioned there's a lot of going away birds.

Westlands tomorrow for a change.

Edited by BlaserF3
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I agree with all of the above. I first went there just after Keith Whitwell took it over. We did a few comps there, but it has had a lot of money spent on it since. Shame really because the estate owners are lovely people. I was there last month but the targets were still very similar to my last visit some 4 years ago.

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6 minutes ago, BlaserF3 said:

I go to Coniston quite often but it's very boring as nothing gets changed often enough, and as Scully mentioned there's a lot of going away birds.

Weatlands tomorrow for a change.

Must agree, Westlands has it for me; the tower is higher and the targets seem more varied, and the stands much easier to negotiate, but that Coniston grouse butts was great fun! Still has me smiling just thinking about it!  Wish they had one at Westlands....will mention it when next there. 🙂

Have fun tomorrow.👍

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Yes the grouse butt is quite good I just become bored to be honest, and they had to close three stands in the bottom of the wood last year due to noise problems but they are trying to get them open again I believe.

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30 minutes ago, Westley said:

Yes, that low bird to the right needs more lead than you think  !

Agreed. I was shooting over the top of it as well. 

31 minutes ago, BlaserF3 said:

Yes the grouse butt is quite good I just become bored to be honest, and they had to close three stands in the bottom of the wood last year due to noise problems but they are trying to get them open again I believe.

Perhaps it’s been resolved then; I didn’t notice any closed stands,  but there again I wasn’t looking. There were signs today all over the ground, and we were also told on reception, that due to noise issues nothing over 28gr was allowed. 

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I used to be a member of coniston but I must agree that it is very repetitive and nothing ever seems to change, if you want to try a really well set up and challenging ground have a go at paintmine woods just outside carnforth, it's brilliant and very reasonably priced, I think it's still £13 for your first 50 then £10 if you do another 50., Give Sam a ring and talk to him he's the owner along with his dad. ( and it's free tea or coffee!).

They also have an up to date Facebook page so I suggest that at this particular trying time you check it out before traveling but if they are open you won't be disappointed.

Edited by rapid .25
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3 hours ago, rapid .25 said:

I used to be a member of coniston but I must agree that it is very repetitive and nothing ever seems to change, if you want to try a really well set up and challenging ground have a go at paintmine woods just outside carnforth, it's brilliant and very reasonably priced, I think it's still £13 for your first 50 then £10 if you do another 50., Give Sam a ring and talk to him he's the owner along with his dad. ( and it's free tea or coffee!).

They also have an up to date Facebook page so I suggest that at this particular trying time you check it out before traveling but if they are open you won't be disappointed.

Contacted Paintmine Wood last year as they had an item I was interested in, but have never been. I can’t think why cos it’s only an hour away. Thanks for the reminder, we’ll give it a whirl. 👍

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  • 7 months later...

I visited Coniston this morning, only to find the grouse butt is now closed due to noise complaints from residents of Hellifield.

Apparently, people have been using game loads which has added to the noise.

A real shame as I dragged a friend along knowing he would love the grouse butt. We used the simulated grouse machine on the furthest DTL range, but it wasn't the same.

I hope it's not permanent.

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7 minutes ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

I visited Coniston this morning, only to find the grouse butt is now closed due to noise complaints from residents of Hellifield.

Apparently, people have been using game loads which has added to the noise.

A real shame as I dragged a friend along knowing he would love the grouse butt. We used the simulated grouse machine on the furthest DTL range, but it wasn't the same.

I hope it's not permanent.

I was there yesterday and it was very boring as a shoot but it was good to meet up with some friends for a natter.

The grouse butt was closed due to one person who bought a farm not very far away from the ground, the same person had three stands shut down as the noise of the shot faced his farm.

Game shooters should be given a life long ban if they use more than 28gr, which they do, I've seen piles of empties in a stand and sometimes in a bin. 

How many more stands will be closed I have no idea but more should be done by the management to catch the idiots who use heavy loads.

I shall be going to Paintmines more often, it's a very good shoot and much more interesting than going to Coniston, but I will miss the bacon and sausage bun though.

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56 minutes ago, BlaserF3 said:

I was there yesterday and it was very boring as a shoot ...

... I shall be going to Paintmines more often, it's a very good shoot and much more interesting than going to Coniston

I've been about half a dozen times this year, and the presentations haven't changed once.

If I knew the grouse butt was out of action I would have shot closer to home, on a more challenging set up, for less money.

I've heard Paintmine Woods mentioned a few times, but it's nearly a 2 hour drive for me which is just a tad too far.

Edited by LeedsZeppelin
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Sorry to hear that regarding the Grouse butts; I really enjoyed that stand. 
We still haven’t been to Paintmine Woods; we always seem to end up at Westlands. 
I have mentioned the building of a grouse butts there, and they thought it a good idea, and will keep pressing gently. 
Time will tell. 

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12 hours ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

I've been about half a dozen times this year, and the presentations haven't changed once.

If I knew the grouse butt was out of action I would have shot closer to home, on a more challenging set up, for less money.

I've heard Paintmine Woods mentioned a few times, but it's nearly a 2 hour drive for me which is just a tad too far.

If you ever do get to paintmine woods you won't be disappointed, it's well worth the drive👍

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13 minutes ago, rapid .25 said:

If you ever do get to paintmine woods you won't be disappointed, it's well worth the drive👍

If they were open a few more days I'd have popped in on my way to/from the client. I always seem to be travelling on their closed days!

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Kelbrook used to have a Grouse Butt stand many years ago. The layout was far more wide spreading than it is now - reduced to almost a Compak layout. Shot Coniston a few times. Handy for Skeet, but unimaginative Sporting layout.

Edited by Gordon R
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4 hours ago, Gordon R said:

Kelbrook used to have a Grouse Butt stand many years ago. The layout was far more wide spreading than it is now - reduced to almost a Compak layout. Shot Coniston a few times. Handy for Skeet, but unimaginative Sporting layout.

How did you do on the Coniston skeet  ?  I average 23/25 on skeet, BUT, at Coniston it was down to 16  ??? I could only think it was the background that led to my misreading the target line  ?

Paintmine has my vote too.

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It's a few years ago, but I think about 21, which was low for me. Last round I shot at skeet was at Toplands, Woodplumpton - dropped one clay with full and full. Background at Coniston isn't brilliant for skeet, but not many grounds have a decent skeet layout. I find Bobbin Mill awkward. I used to shoot  skeet at Hesketh Bank, Holmfirth and the Little Mill - all now gone.

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I’m not well versed in skeet shooting, but I very much enjoy the skeet layout at Westlands when we’re up there. Mate knows what he’s doing so keeps us all right, and the background is wooded and the birds are easy to see, although I have nothing to compare it with. 
The DTL layout is good, as is the Sportrap; I have straighted the latter at Coniston but not at Westlands...haven’t ever come anywhere close. 
I enjoyed Coniston but the sporting layout is quite mundane....great shame about the Grouse Butts, they were great fun.....and the best clubhouse I’ve been in at a clay ground. 
Crabtree have a good Grouse Butt if anyone is ever in the vacinity. 

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North Wales Shooting School for skeet, black clays against sky background. Only the centre peg needs thinking about, sometimes the low bird can be 'lost' against tree background, to the left. Just shoot low first, then 'no problem'. I agree that the 'Lodge' at Coniston is excellent, BUT, they close early and it's machine coffee then. Catton Hall gets my vote, takes less time to get to Frodsham than to Hesketh Bank, with all the road works. Catton Hall, 50 minutes drive, after the lights at Switch Island, Maghull, the next hold up is at the lights at the M56 junction, near Frodsham  !

Catton Hall open Wednesday and Saturdays £24/100 sporting targets off 14 stands, including 3 or 4 stands shooting down into a quarry. What's not to like  ??   Mind you, I will still be going to Ribble Bank, just to see a lot of shooting friends.

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On 22/10/2020 at 21:13, Westley said:

How did you do on the Coniston skeet  ?  I average 23/25 on skeet, BUT, at Coniston it was down to 16   I could only think it was the background that led to my misreading the target line  ?

Paintmine has my vote too.

I had my first 25 straight in a registered at Coniston - that was after shooting a 20 on the first layout (5 dropped on the first two pegs) and I had a low bird on peg 7 that actually spiraled as it went away on one of the layouts.

On 24/10/2020 at 19:25, Westley said:

North Wales Shooting School for skeet, black clays against sky background. Only the centre peg needs thinking about, sometimes the low bird can be 'lost' against tree background, to the left. Just shoot low first, then 'no problem'. I agree that the 'Lodge' at Coniston is excellent, BUT, they close early and it's machine coffee then. Catton Hall gets my vote, takes less time to get to Frodsham than to Hesketh Bank, with all the road works. Catton Hall, 50 minutes drive, after the lights at Switch Island, Maghull, the next hold up is at the lights at the M56 junction, near Frodsham  !

Catton Hall open Wednesday and Saturdays £24/100 sporting targets off 14 stands, including 3 or 4 stands shooting down into a quarry. What's not to like  ??   Mind you, I will still be going to Ribble Bank, just to see a lot of shooting friends.

I do have to say that it (NWSS) is one of the better that I have shot. Also, because of the high trees at the back of the layouts you can be lucky and have windy days that don't affect the clays at all - I had my first (and only) hundred straight there 1 year and 2 days ago - facebook popped it up on my timeline the other day!!

They also have a sporttrap stand where they change the targets every week - this is only on a Saturday and when CV isn't ravaging the economy

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