GO MAD IN PRE­STON!

Lee Mad­don tells us about some­thing truly spe­cial cus­tom built for air­gun­ners of all kinds

Airgun World - - Club Focus -

It all started when a few friends and I came down to my par­ents’ ru­ral small­hold­ing to prac­tise shoot­ing tar­gets in the field be­hind my fa­ther’s Asbo Ex­hausts work­shop. We soon recog­nised that there was huge po­ten­tial for an out­door air ri­fle range in the one- acre plot, due to its ease of ac­cess, and the fact that no sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties ex­ist within a 30-mile ra­dius, so my par­ents and I formed a part­ner­ship to cre­ate MadAir.

We em­ployed the ser­vices of a highly re­spected plan­ning con­sul­tant to work with Wyre Bor­ough Coun­cil and ob­tain the nec­es­sary plan­ning per­mis­sion to de­velop the green-field site, and erect a build­ing along­side the ex­ist­ing Asbo Ex­hausts unit. There were many hoops to jump through, in­clud­ing ob­tain­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­log­i­cal re­ports from var­i­ous agen­cies, but we worked tire­lessly with Wyre Coun­cil to meet and ex­ceed their cri­te­ria, and even­tu­ally, we were granted plan­ning per­mis­sion.

EN­THU­SI­ASTS

We stud­ied other in­door and out­door ranges, up and down the coun­try, and looked at their best el­e­ments and their short­falls, and we talked with dozens of air ri­fle en­thu­si­asts to find out what they wanted and ex­pected from an ideal air ri­fle range. We col­lated all this in­for­ma­tion to cre­ate the MadAir Ex­pe­ri­ence.

I built the range at week­ends, over a two-month pe­riod, with help from friends and fam­ily mem­bers and a very large ex­ca­va­tor, and we opened for busi­ness on Satur­day, May the 6th 2016. We’ve seen month-on-month growth ever since; we wel­come air ri­fle en­thu­si­asts of all ages, and we’ve hosted cor­po­rate events for the likes of Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures, hen and stag par­ties, and Scout and Wolf Pack groups of young­sters, most of whom had never held an air ri­fle be­fore.

Our gun hire fa­cil­ity has proved to be very pop­u­lar – we cur­rently have around ten guns avail­able for hire at any one time – and the hire pack­age in­cludes pel­lets, tar­gets, train­ing and as much tea as you can drink. We have a strict health and safety pol­icy and all new­com­ers are sub­jected to a strict in­duc­tion process prior to shoot­ing.

Right from the start, we have had the sup­port and en­cour­age­ment of Black­pool Air Ri­fles (BAR) and their effervescent pro­pri­etor, Lloyd Schober, who has pro­moted our ven­ture and whose staff all wear our re­galia in the shop – their ad­ver­tis­ing ban­ner is proudly dis­played at MadAir.

TAR­GETS

Our range is over 70 yards long and 35 yards wide, and is north-fac­ing, so vis­i­tors are shel­tered from the pre­vail­ing south-west­erly wind. Our build­ing is 25 me­tres long, 2.5 me­tres wide, and it has 24 seats and place­mats. We have over 200 tar­gets of all types, in­clud­ing knock-down, spin­ners, elec­tronic and re­ac­tive tar­gets, plus pa­per tar­get hold­ers at var­i­ous dis­tances. The tar­gets are re­painted twice weekly, and bro­ken or dam­aged tar­gets re­paired or re­placed. They are moved around oc­ca­sion­ally, as well, to keep our reg­u­lar clients on their toes. The grass is mown and rolled two or three times a week dur­ing the sum­mer months to keep it un­der con­trol be­cause ap­pear­ance and im­age is important to us.

The range is run and main­tained by me, with help from Ge­off, Shirley and Emily Mad­den, dur­ing the week. They are a mas­sive as­set to MadAir be­cause they are able to help when I can­not be there – I still have a day job.

At one side, we have a 10-yard pis­tol range that has proved very pop­u­lar, and we also have fa­cil­i­ties for prone shoot­ing for com­pe­ti­tions etc. Our Thurs­day ‘Gun Club’ com­pe­ti­tion is also well sup­ported, and we have great prizes, fab­u­lous ban­ter and any­one is wel­come to come along and join in – it is a big con­ver­sa­tion point on our pop­u­lar Face­book page.

One of the ap­peal­ing fea­tures of MadAir is its ru­ral lo­ca­tion, and its close­ness to na­ture. When peo­ple visit us from the towns and cities, they love to lis­ten to the birds singing in the trees, and en­joy the sight of an owl or buz­zard fly­ing high over­head. We are purely a tar­get range, and sup­port wildlife con­ser­va­tion, and oc­ca­sion­ally, shoot­ing will stop for a few min­utes

to al­low a fam­ily of par­tridges or a mother duck and her brood to wad­dle across to the ad­ja­cent wa­ter­course.

CA­MA­RADERIE

Our fa­cil­i­ties in­clude tea, cof­fee, soft drinks and snacks. We have am­ple car park­ing and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties for vis­i­tors. We have reg­u­lar vis­i­tors from York­shire, Cum­bria, Scot­land and Wales, and we had reg­u­lar and wel­come vis­its from a fam­ily from South Africa, now liv­ing in the Lan­caster/More­cambe area. Ev­ery­one who vis­its says that we are the by far the best air ri­fle range they have ever vis­ited, with great fa­cil­i­ties and friendly staff.

We are con­stantly amazed at the huge spec­trum of peo­ple who have air­guns. They range from young­sters to re­tired peo­ple, male and fe­male. The ca­ma­raderie be­tween air­gun en­thu­si­asts here is re­mark­able. One young chap who had trav­elled some dis­tance to MadAir re­cently, found that his gun had bro­ken af­ter about 10 min­utes of shoot­ing. He was about to pack up and go home when the el­derly chap shoot­ing next to him asked him what was the mat­ter. When the young lad ex­plained, the el­derly chap pulled out his spare ri­fle from its case and said, “Here, use this one, son.’ A true sports­man!

PLANS AND LO­CA­TION

Our plans for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture in­volve build­ing a new toi­let block, de­vel­op­ing a web­site, and pro­mot­ing our­selves to an even big­ger au­di­ence via ad­ver­tis­ing and so­cial me­dia. A mas­sive thank you from ev­ery­one at MadAir to Air­gun World, for pub­lish­ing this fea­ture. MadAir is lo­cated on the main A588, ten miles south of Lan­caster, M6 Junc­tion 33. We are open ev­ery day of the year, ex­cept Christ­mas Day, from 9am un­til 6pm Shoot­ing ses­sions £5.00 for 3 hours £10.00 for all day Gun hire (please pre-book to avoid dis­ap­point­ment) From £25.00 for 3 hours all-in­clu­sive

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion please call or con­tact us at:- MadAir Out­door Ri­fle Range Oak Lea, Head Dyke Lane, Pilling, Pre­ston, PR36SJ

Tel:- Lee Mad­den 07825 321665 Email:-lee_­mad­den@bt­in­ter­net.com Or find us on Face­book – MadAir Out­door Air Ri­fle Range

The lo­cal sheep looked on in ad­mi­ra­tion as we built the main range.

Fir­ing points un­der con­struc­tion.

Plenty of tar­gets - and we re-shuf­fle them, too!

Lloyd from Black­pool Air Ri­fles has sup­ported us from the start.

Come and see us - you'll be made very wel­come, I prom­ise.

Tar­get va­ri­ety is a fea­ture at MadAir!

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