A husband and wife team - who set their sights on developing a top shooting ground in Hartlepool - have achieved a huge coup for the town.
The best shots in England came to Hartlepool thanks to the efforts of Andy and Kelly Calvert who held the fourth round of the England team selection shoot competition at their Oak Lodge venue.
Kelly said the two-day shoot, which was held at the weekend, was “a massive success for the ground, sport and local area. We are the first ground in the north to hold the event and the feedback has been amazing.
“This event will have put Hartlepool on the map and certainly boosted the local economy with a lot of shooters staying in and around the area for the weekend.”
It comes four years after the couple first revealed their ambitious plans to the Hartlepool Mail - to develop the Oak Lodge Shooting Ground in Brierton Lane.
At the time in 2012, Andy and Kelly revealed their proposals for a log cabin clubhouse, more shooting ranges, and a mini forest all the way around the 20-acre site, which specialises in clay pigeon shooting.
We are the first ground in the north to hold the event and the feedback has been amazing. This event will have put Hartlepool on the map and certainly boosted the local economyKelly Calvert, Oak Lodge Shooting Ground
Now, the venue has attracted some of the biggest names in the shooting world, including the number 1 ranked ladies shooter Cheryl Hall. Kelly described her appearance at Oak Lodge as “a massive achievement” for the venue.
The England team selection shoot is a competition held in six events around the country. Other venues are Barrow Heath in Risby, Suffolk; Garlands in Tamworth, Staffordshire; West Midlands Shooting Ground in Market Drayton, Shropshire; Southdown in Findon, West Sussex; and Purbeck in Wareham in Dorset.
The best four scores from the six shoots make the team.
Kelly added: “We saw some of the big names in the shooting world attending the ground.”
Once the team is selected, it will compete in the world championships.
But as well as success on the competition front, much work has gone on behind the scenes at Oak Lodge.
Kelly added: “A lot of work and development has taken place at Oak Lodge.
“We have planted 3000 trees and shrubs to add to the environment and appearance.”