Devizes bowmen seeking a place to shoot

This Is Wiltshire: Devizes Bowmen on their current land at Green Lane. Inset, Joe Gurr who made the county junior team        (DV1537) By Diane Vose Devizes Bowmen on their current land at Green Lane. Inset, Joe Gurr who made the county junior team (DV1537) By Diane Vose

Archery club Devizes Bowmen is appealing for help to find land that can become its permanent home.

The club, established more than 50 years ago, had hoped to bid for land that was due to go to auction but it was sold beforehand.

The club’s members have pledged more than £20,000 towards a new site and the club also has reserves to either buy land or lease it on a long-term basis.

The club is based at the sports pitches at Green Lane on a short-term lease with Devizes Town Council. It has been there for a number of years, except for a three or four-year spell using a rugby club pitch at Devizes Sports Club in London Road, but left there last May.

Club chairman Nick Sherman said: “We hope we can find a permanent home for the club as this is something we have wanted to do for many years, but now with the generous support from our members we can make this a reality. We just need to find the right piece of land.”

The club is looking for a site of around three acres, in or around Devizes, ideally agricultural land. It needs to be predominantly flat, well drained and with an overall length of at least 150m to allow for the safety areas required by the sport’s governing body, Archery GB.

The club has seen its membership numbers grow significantly since the 2012 London Olympics and recently attracted more than 200 people to its Archery Big Weekend event in July.

It has 44 members including ten juniors. One of its youngest members, 11-year-old Joe Gurr, of Devizes, has been selected to shoot for the county junior team after only shooting for a year while adult member Mark Rudd shoots for Team GB and Kay Smith did so last year.

Treasurer Neil Lockhart said: “I joined the club two years ago and in that time it has doubled in size.There’s been more of an interest in archery since the 2012 Olympics. The sports pitches at Green Lane are a nice place to shoot but they don’t have amenities such as toilets, so when we hold tournaments there we have to bring in portable toilets.”

Offers of support or potential land for sale should be sent to the club secretary, Martin Page, whose contact details are available on the club website www.devizes-bowmen.co.uk

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