Auchterhouse Country Sports Recovering from PandemicNeil Hardie
A long-established Angus country sports centre, said to be one of the top clay pigeon shooting grounds in the country, is continuing to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Auchterhouse Country Sports has been running for 30 years and Covid is the worst thing to happen to the venture in that time.
The business is owned by the Christie family – parents Gavin and Evelyn, son Drew and daughter Emma.
The operation at Burnhead Farm, Auchterhouse, began with clay shooting twice a week.
Over the years, its offering expanded to include the likes of stag and hen days, corporate events, charity shoots, quad biking, 4×4 driving, archery and team building. Customers have come from all over the UK.
The firm started with a caravan, then a residential caravan, followed by a portable building before the main clubhouse was built in 1993.
Emma said: “The business has grown slowly but successfully, being voted the nation’s favourite shooting ground in 2020 – a month before Covid hit.
“We’ve hosted many international shooting events over the years; charity events too. We’ve also hosted the Prince’s Trust and The Shoot – to date, their event has raised over £3.4 million.”
But the onset of the pandemic in the UK was a major setback for the Angus centre.
Emma feels it is the worst thing to happen in its history.
She explained: “We had to shut everything. That meant no customers – so no income.
“In line with government instructions we closed at the end of March 2020 and reopened on June 6, 2020.”
Employee numbers at the business have fallen to six, compared to 10 before Covid struck.
The only activities now running are clay shooting and shooting lessons but it is hoped quad bike treks can resume shortly, along with the return of corporate events and stag and hen days.
Emma is hopeful that things will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, but she added that this will take time.