A Nottinghamshire rifle and pistol club has been given a loan of £150,000 from the Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT). The loan is the largest to be given out by the WHT and the first to be given to a club which is not directly connected to wildfowling.

The WHT was set up by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

The loan has been used by the Mattersey Rifle & Pistol Club to buy 43.5 acres of disused quarry. Three and a half acres will be developed into rifle ranges and the rest will remain as mixed woodland and ponds. Club members intend to work with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to manage and restore the woodland.

The cash will also help the club, which is based near Blyth, to develop the site to promote the existing rifle range facilities and to develop deer stalking courses, host Young Shots events and develop other target shooting opportunities.

Tim Russell, secretary of the WHT and director of conservation at BASC, said: “I am delighted that the WHT has been able to help secure this site for shooting and conservation. When I visited the site it quickly became clear how important the mixed habitats of wetland, woodland and sand cliffs are for wildlife. The sand cliffs provide nesting for a large colony of sand martins as well as shelduck. We are pleased that the WHT has been able to help a club focusing on a discipline other than wildfowling and I look forward to seeing how the site develops in the coming years.”

Brendan Price, chairman of the Mattersey Rifle & Pistol Club, said: “The support we have received from the WHT and BASC has been outstanding at all stages of the process and we are extremely pleased to be associated with such a professional and helpful organisation. As well as improving habitats, BASC is also helping us to improve our shooting range facilities.”

For more information on the club, contact Stan Thomas on 01302 327566 or Dave Hinchliff on 07927 936133.

For more information on the WHT, visit www.wht.org.uk or phone 01244 573024.


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