Tamar Valley Association for Shooting & Conservation

Reasonably priced rough shooting with an emphasis on conservation

Who we are and what we do

The Tamar Valley Association for Shooting & Conservation (TVASC) is a rough shooting and wildfowling association based around Plymouth and the nearby areas of south Devon and south-east Cornwall. The association itself and our individual members are affiliated to the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).

We are a live quarry shooting association using shotguns. We do not have rifle shooting. We collect subscriptions from our members and use those funds to lease farmland, forestry and marsh where we can both shoot legal quarry species and help conserve those species and other wildlife. We have a clay shooting competition each year and a few practice shoots, but clay shooting is not a primary focus of our activities.

We have been in existence since 1960, and below there is a brief history of the Association.

You will also find, under the heading 'Membership & Shooting’ details of how to join us and what to expect when you do.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Membership and Shooting

Membership Update
Our membership list is now closed for the 2020/21 season. We will, however, send out application forms on request and keep completed forms on file until we have some more vacancies. This is likely to occur about April/May 2021.

Becoming a Member
Adult membership of TVASC is open to anyone who meets the following criteria (slightly different criteria apply for applicants under the age of 18 years):
  • Adult membership applicants must hold a current shotgun certificate.
  • They should know quite thoroughly the open and closed season dates for all the legitimate quarry species, and what those species are.
  • They should be a 'safe gun', having read and understood the BASC 'Code of Good Shooting Practice' and are able to abide by the rules and guidance therein.
  • They can read a map with a degree of confidence and are able to stay within such boundaries as may be marked thereon.
  • They can be a 'Good Ambassador' for shooting in particular, and country sports in general. This is particularly important when meeting farmers, landowners and members of the public while out on a shooting day. The impression created could affect the reputation of the Association, and of shooting in general.
  • They are willing to help the Association from time to time by offering some time or skills. (For example a few hours each year feeding pheasants, clearing foreshore, or supporting a social event).
  • They undertake to abide by the rules and guidance set out in the Association's constitution.
  • They are willing to attend an interview with the TVASC committee at a time of mutual convenience (currently these are conducted online using the ZOOM video conferencing App).
  • They are willing to pay a once only joining fee and the subsequent annual subscription which includes automatic membership of BASC (details of the current fees are given below).
How to apply
In the first instance contact the TVASC Secretary, by email at tvascsecretary@gmail.com Please provide a postal address and/or an email address to which an application form can be sent. Once you have completed and returned this you will, if there are current vacancies, be contacted to arrange a date when you can be available to do an interview. This will almost certainly be in the evening at 8.00 pm or thereabouts. The interview will be fairly informal and quite friendly and will be focused on whether the applicant does satisfy the criteria as set out above. We have a policy of mentoring and supporting members who are new to the sport. If there are no current vacancies your completed application form will be kept on file and you will be contacted when vacancies occur. The waiting time is rarely more than six months and often less. 

Shooting and Membership Subscriptions

Currently the Association rents and has licences for shooting over about 3,000 acres of rural land. This is managed by us as about fifteen different shoots. They can be very different in character. Some are primarily woodland, some primarily farmland and some a mixture of both. There are also three and a half miles of tidal marsh. These shoots are managed by a Shoot Wardens who will book them out to members at their request. All members are provided with maps, guidance, and a set of rules for each shoot and they are expected to adhere to these at all times. Failure to do so could lead to loss of membership. The booking in procedure will be explained at interview. The current Joining and Membership fees for the 2020/21 season  are:
  • Joining Fee payable on acceptance is£150.00.
  • Annual Subscription due in May each year  for an adult under State Pensionable Age, is £196.00 and this includes membership of BASC which incorporates cover by their public liability insurance up to the sum of £10,000,000.
  • For those over State Pensionable Age the subscription is £170.00 which also includes BASC membership.
  • For Juniors, which is those under 18 years, and Extended Juniors, which is those 18-21 years but still in full-time education/training, the subscription is £40.00 including BASC.
  • For couples the subscription is £265.00 and Senior couples it is £239.
  • For Country Members, which is certain members who wish to retain a link with the Association but who, for reasons such as being away with the armed forces or some other form of work, cannot continue to shoot, the fee is £12.00. Country Membership is discretionary.
The subscription for the adults, including seniors, can be paid in up to four parts by standing order/BACS transfer. Again further details will be given at interview. 

Membership Numbers

The Association has a longstanding policy of keeping the total membership to about 100. 

Friday, 1 November 2019

A Brief History of the Association

In late 1960, shooting and fishing friends John Dingle and Michael Beer took the first steps to establish what was at first called The Plymouth and District Wildfowling & Rough Shooting Association.
After advertising, six people turned up to the YWCA meeting rooms near the Plymouth Hoe, and the club was formed. The aims were:
  • to uphold the highest standards of shooting
  • to obtain shooting rights
  • to be able to buy cheaper shooting equipment and cartridges
  • to have the friendship of like minded people
  • to become affiliated to the Wildfowlers' Association of Great Britain & Ireland (WAGBI) and be covered by their insurance scheme. 
A Treasurer was elected and all six attendees paid a £1.00 subscription.
It was hard going at first and the Treasurer gave up after six months, but slowly the membership  grew during the nineteen sixties and seventies. 
A method of recruiting new members was established at that time and is still in place today. Every prospective member is interviewed by the committee and assessed to see if they understand the game laws, the open and closed seasons for the various species, their attitude towards gun safety, their willingness to help the Association, and other important factors that aim to ensure we can gain and keep the trust of farmers and landowners. 
By the nineteen eighties and nineties the Association had become well established and was affiliated to WAGBI (which later became the British Association for Shooting & Conservation). 
The Association has always been primarily a live quarry shooting club, but does have an annual clay competition, which is now held in the Spring, just before the AGM, when the trophies are presented.
Over the years we have been known by three different names; the first we have already mentioned, the second was when we became The Tamar Valley Wildfowling Association which was very popular with members and we are still known in some quarters as The Tamar Valley Wildfowlers even though wildfowling is only a small part of the shooting we offer. WAGBI became BASC and we followed the trend to include the word 'conservation', hence our present name.
We endeavour, at all times to maintain good relations with the police, conservation bodies, NGOs, government agencies and other clubs and associations.
And, finally, and most importantly, we have always been an organisation for every man and woman who is genuinely interested in shooting and the countryside. All members have equal rights to participate and use the association shoots. There is no 'senior member' prioritisation or a 'club within a club' and consequently little or no resulting friction.  
We participate annually in the Devon Wildfowlers' & Shooting Times Countryside Quiz, and have won the trophy on five occasions, as well as being runners up several times.

Five times Shooting Times Trophy Winners 

Some members at the Annual Clay Shoot
A brace of cock pheasants