Get on Target in Shropshire’s Great Outdoors
Step “up to the Mark” and perhaps you too could follow in the footsteps of world renowned archers such as Alison Williamson, who represented Great Britain at six consecutive Olympic Games. Alison is a member of the Long Mynd Archers, based near Church Stretton.
Archery is a very inclusive and social sport that can be enjoyed by all the family young and old, able and disabled. Archery clubs in Shropshire are thriving, with many Senior and Junior archers registered with ArcheryGB.
There are many competitions held in Shropshire, and County Championships for both Target archery and Clout. Clout is where arrows are aimed at a post instead of a target. Field Archery also takes place at some clubs where archers shoot at 2D or 3D models of animals in the woods. There are three main types of bow used in Archery: the Traditional Longbow; the Olympic Freestyle, otherwise know as Recurve, with high tech accessories to improve accuracy; and the Compound, a very accurate bow, built with pulleys and cam wheels making it easier to draw the string.
Shropshire is believed to be the last county in England to continue the ‘Architectural Heritage’ series of shoots, for all ages and abilities, held where possible in the grounds of stately homes or similar grand surroundings; a wonderful way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon in the great Shropshire outdoors.
Archery requires a large area; even the smallest training bows will shoot over 100 yards, so should only be undertaken responsibly with the proper instruction, safety rules, and insurance.
Clubs and Societies
The Shropshire Archery Society has registered clubs both in Shropshire and over the Borders. Check their websites for up to date information.
They include in Shropshire:
Archers of Teme covering southern Shropshire, are based between Ludlow, Leominster and Tenbury Wells. They were originally formed in 1856 and reformed in 1984, and mostly shoot recurve bows, but have a few compound archers and a growing number of longbows. Beginners courses are held in May and August and experienced archers are welcome to join them at any time. A book of their early years dated 1868 is held in Ludlow Museum.
Audco Archers are based in Newport, Shropshire and welcome all levels of archers, with ‘Have-a-Go’s’ and two hour taster sessions for groups and organisations. In the winter they shoot at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, home of Archery GB and hold outdoor shooting at Newport CE Junior School.
Bowbrook Archers own their own shooting ground near Withington, not far from Shrewsbury, and as well as target, they shoot clout, and have use of a small field archery course in a nearby wood. They hold Indoor Shooting sessions at Sundorne School, Shrewsbury, run after school archery clubs at a number of local schools, and run Beginners courses throughout the summer months, with a minimum age of 9 for safety reasons.
Bowmen of Caradoc established in 2012, are a group of enthusiastic archers from age 20 onwards who concentrate purely on traditional archery using Longbows, Warbows and Barebows, and have members who participate in re-enactments. They are based in the Shropshire Hills near Church Stretton with beautiful scenic views, and have Field and Target Shooting, and a Woods course. Winter sessions take place at Church Stretton School. They hold taster sessions and training courses.
Cleobury Country Archers is an open and friendly community club based in South Shropshire. They welcome all archers irrespective of experience with free taster sessions available every month leading to a six week coaching course and membership of Archery GB where archers can choose to shoot traditional English longbow, Olympic style or compound archery. Members compete in target field and clout competitions across the county. Follow the link to find out about getting involved or to see more of them in action you can follow them on Instagram.
Croesoswallt Archery originally established in 1957, was founded to assist patients and staff members at the Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, with rehabilitation using all aspects of the sport of archery. The Club shoots target archery using Recurve, Compound, Longbow & Bare Bow, and meets in the grounds of the Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry during the summer, and indoors at Ruabon Leisure & Activity Centre during the winter.
Long Mynd Archers are based at New House Farm, Church Stretton, within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They specialize in target archery, cater for recurve, compound and longbows, with accredited coaches for beginners through to international archers, and have a thriving junior section. They hold ‘Have a Go’ sessions outdoors in the summer months, so you can enjoy Shropshire’s Great Outdoors whilst learning a new activity. They also have a portable range that they can take to schools and events, and an Indoor venue at Eaton close to Church Stretton
Shrewsbury Bowmen is a small company of archers based in the historic county town of Shrewsbury. They currently shoot outdoors in Summer on a 100 yard range at Radbrook Recreation Field, Radbrook Road, and hold beginners coaching sessions. They have a winter 20yd indoor venue at The Priory School, Longden Road, Shrewsbury.
Telford Archers are a Target Archery Club founded in 1976 and based in Telford. They offer Target archery facilities for all bow types and can cater for disabled archers. Members range from 7 to 70+ and from Novice to County team level. Their Shooting Ground is at Allscott cricket ground, and they have indoor facilities at Telford College of Arts and Technology.
Whitchurch Bowmen are based in the historic town of Whitchurch and welcome new members of all ages and abilities. They hold beginner courses and are wheelchair friendly both indoors and outdoor, meeting outdoors in summer at Sir John Talbot School Sports Centre in Heath Road, and during the winter months indoors at the Sports Centre, with also the opportunity to shoot outdoors at Field Shoot events.
Archery GB- Formerly the Grand National Archery Society, Archery GB is the National Governing Body for Archery, and is based at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Newport Shropshire TF10 9AT where they have a High Performance Outdoor Shooting Range.
International Longbow Archers Association – Upholds the concepts and standards of all traditions of longbow shooting including Artillery Shooting with traditional bows as practised into the 16th Century, together with all forms of Target, Clout, Speed shooting and other aiming traditions. The site gives the history of the Longbow in Battle, and lists the mainstream archery associations for the longbow in the United Kingdom.