Cattespool Shoot was established in 1989 on land that formed part of the erstwhile Hewell Estate belonging to the Earl of Plymouth. The estate was broken up after WWII and we shoot over about 1000 acres. Between the wars Hewell regularly produced bags of 600+ pheasant but sadly we can't emulate that and we deliver days of 150-250 partridge and pheasant. We have about 12 drives but only 8-10 of these are used in order to present as challenging birds as possible from our rolling countryside. We plant 25-30 acres of cover crops and have plenty of woodland which give us an enjoyable mixture of stands.
The addition of partridge in the last few years has made an enormous difference to the shoot, providing some spactacular sport in the earlier and warmer days in october and adding that bit of extra excitement when mixed in with the pheasant during the rest of the season.
We are a syndicate shoot with 20 members who each take between 1-20 gun days(incl guests). We shoot 12 days, saturdays only, starting with partridge in october. We have a keeper and his assistant who look after the estate,ensuring that habitat and vermin control are optimised in harmony with the management of the estate. Our team of beaters and pickers up have been with us for a long time and the cameraderie amongst all involved creates a more relaxed atmosphere than some shoots.
We meet for coffee at Cattespool House which is one of the oldest houses in North Worcestershire, then normally four drives before lunch which is taken in the lodge in one of the woods followed by two more drives (depending on the bag). Lunch is a hot meal followed by cheese and served with wine or beer. We try and walk as much as possible but we do have to motor between parts of the shoot and there are always enough 4 X 4s for this purpose.
The shoot is run by Robert Baines and Mark Brittain who were founder members of the syndicate in 1989. Cattespool has been the family home of Robert Baines since 1948.
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Cattespool is a lovely, friendly, family-orientated shoot only 10 minutes from the M42/M5. There is a good mix of Partridge and Pheasant drives - over coppices, farmland and over a 120 acre wood. And the odd duck too. Being a Saturday shoot, we regularly have family and kids either with guns or in the beating line which all adds to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The atmosphere between the guns is very good-natured with plenty of chat and banter. This is not a shoot for people who can't give as good as they get in terms of mickey-taking and the odd poached bird! Just great fun.
Mr Andrew Lawton-Smith