Established in 1974, Forest of Bere Bowmen has grown to be one of the largest target archery clubs in Hampshire. We are based in Horndean, near Portsmouth, just off the A3(M).
We have access to our own sheltered outdoor shooting ground that is available seven days a week. Also, during the winter, we meet once a week on Monday evenings at a local community sports centre in Clanfield.
Our archers have the support of a qualified coaching team and the club has many experienced archers including those that have shot at national levels. We have both senior members and an active junior section.
The Forest of Bere Bowmen was formed in 1974 from a group of seven novice archers who had nowhere to shoot. One of these members, Alan Stroud, owned a field in Worlds End, near Waterlooville, just down from the Chairmakers Arms. The club moved in and turned part of it into our first range, albeit shared with a number of the local cows. As the club was new and we needed to attract members, two of our founders attended an Instructor's course, which they managed to pass. Thus, with members qualified to teach, the club steadily began to grow.
The range was a very pleasant place to be so initially most members were quite content to shoot within the Club environment and not venture out to tournaments. However, as numbers grew and abilities improved, we were able to form a team and in the early eighties won the Hampshire County Championship.
There was also early success with a member, Iris Stroud, taking second place at the Hampshire Indoor Championship, held at Calshot.
Unfortunately, we eventually had to move from our range and started shooting at Inmans Lane in Denmead. Later still, we left this site and began shooting at Fort Widley, near Portsmouth, shooting on the parade ground, however during this time our membership went into decline.
In (year) we moved to our present range at Horndean and the then Chairman, Dr Peter Spreadbury, supported by some keen members built up the club's membership and renewed the enthusiasm.
It hasn't all been plain sailing as the club was hit by the hurricane of 1996 and all the equipment was destroyed. However, in 1998 we opened a new clubhouse. The membership of the club, at the time of writing, is about 150 and we look forward to a prosperous future.
FoBB Committee 2022 / 23
Dawn to dusk outdoor shooting 365 days a year
Indoor shooting during winter at The Clanfield Centre
Clubhouse with refreshment making facilities
20 Target lanes
Equipment for running beginners courses
The Club offers round the year shooting at the range in Horndean. All facilities are accessible every day of the year, from Dawn to Dusk. There are some targets left out on the shooting range for Club members to use and also access to other targets and the Clubhouse at all times.
The range currently caters for twenty target lanes and has sufficient safety overshoot for all targets to be accommodated at 100 yards. The grass is cut regularly, and the field well maintained with distances permanently marked out in both yards and metres. Car parking is 'on range' and near the shooting line.
The Club does not have sufficient facilities for Clout, Field or any other form of shooting, other than Target Archery.
Indoor facilities are provided in the winter months using a community sports centre in Clanfield. The Club owns sufficient targets, backstop nets and other items of equipment to host a major indoor shooting event each year. This is an open tournament, called 'The Crookhorn', held at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.
The Club finances are sound and there is a policy to maintain a low membership subscription. We also support funds with money raising activities, such as running beginners courses.
For many years we used to shoot indoors at a hall in Bedhampton and many members used to be concerned about the cramped conditions. However, now that we are able to shoot indoors, following the Covid pandemic, we have found a new venue at a sports centre in Clanfield.
This is a much bigger and better site, allowing us to accommodate more members, as well as guest archers. This venue will also allow us to offer beginners courses during the winter, taster sessions for the public and perhaps even indoor competition. There is a café at the centre giving us the opportunity to have refreshments.
During the winter we shoot on Monday nights for 3 hours, starting in late September through until late March. Our sessions are from 18:00 until 21:00 and shooting commences at approximately 18:30. Members do not need to book and we can take guests, although preference will be given to members. If you wish to shoot as a guest, it would be preferable to contact the Club Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of running our indoor venue unfortunately means that an additional charge has to be made for indoor shooting during the winter.
FoBB target fees for indoor shooting are:
£4.00 - Adults (Members)
£3.00 - Juniors (Members)
FoBB Beginners first session is free of charge
£5.00 - (Guests)