The South West Challenge

The prestigious 8 day field archery tournament over 4 different venues shot to N.F.A.S. rules.

The South West Challenge as it is known today was established over 20 years ago and is recognised as a major field archery competition in the U.K.  The competition is held over 8 shooting days and each venue is a competition in its own right. Scores are carried over for the 8 days and there will be an overall winner in each class and style. Also, a unique handicap system has been designed to produce the Victor Ludorum winner which is open to all archers who complete the 8 days. So, not only have you a chance of winning at each venue, but also over the accumulated 8 days and a chance for the Victor Ludorum trophy.  A certificate is given to each archer who completes the 8 days as recognition of the achievement and a “thank you” from the hosting clubs. It has been customary over the years to offer unique trophies for those that achieve 1st place and these trophies have become much sought after.  For many it is not about the winning but the taking part and with changed groups at every venue, you will be sure to make new friends and acquaintances. Patches will be available for the 2018 Challenge.

Entry Form 2018

Dates and Venues

28th July & 29th July 2018: Assembly 10.00 am.

OSPREY. (Nottington Lane, Buckland Ripers, on the North western side of Weymouth )

Rounds: 28th July:  40 x 3Ds, 2 shot round: & 29th July: 40 x 3Ds, Big Game

There is no camping on the field but there are two close campsites:- Bagwell Farm ( and Higher Moor Farm ( both of which are shown on the map. And being a holiday destination there are many others not too far away.

30th July & 31st July 2018: Assembly 10.00 am.

BALLANDS. (Pear Ash Farm, Penselwood, Nr Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 8LX)

Rounds: 30th July: 40 x 3Ds 2-shot round & 31st July:  40 x 3Ds, Big Game

Camping: Long Hazel Park could still be recommended and is of high standard but their site says adults only. A closer site is Kingsettle Camping and it’s suitable for families.
Kingsettle Camping, Kingsettle Hill, South Brewham, Bruton, BA10 0LB,
(Camping and Caravan Club certified site)
Camping is possible at the shoot ground. Shower and toilet available at the farm.


2nd Aug & 3rd Aug 2018: Assembly 10.00 am.

DUNKERY. (Allercott Farm, Timberscombe, Nr Minehead, Somerset TA24 7BN)

Rounds: 2nd  Aug: To be confirmed  & 3rd Aug: (36 or 40) x 3Ds, Big Game

For camping information please contact the landowners

4th Aug & 5th Aug 2018 Assembly 10.00 am.

WESTCOMBE. (Nearest marker on Google maps is Westcombe Farm, Westcombe Deer Park, Culmhead, Taunton TA3 7DT. Please note that this is not the exact location but signposts will be up along the road to direct you.)

Rounds: 4th Aug: To be confirmed & 5th Aug: (36 or 40) x 3Ds, Big Game





If approaching Weymouth along the B3157 coast road you turn left where there is a sign for “Blind Summit” towards Buckland Ripers and follow the road past a wood on the left and our entrance is at the end of the wood on the right.
If approaching from Dorchester along the A354 then turn left at the first roundabout (first exit), right at the next roundabout (third exit), left at the mini roundabout, down Dorchester Road and turn right at the sign to Nottington. Follow the road through Nottington and on through Buckland Ripers, after the solar farm on the left our entrance is on the left.

When we have shoots on we have signs from the A354 and on the B3157 directing to the shoot.

location map

osprey shoot location

Ballands, Pear Ash Farm




The Devon Challenge (as it was originally known) was first held in 1996. It was set up by Dave Howell (East Dartmoor Archers), Colin Smithers (Elmtree Archers), Martin Hawker (Kenwith Archers) and Bob Ambridge (Ashcombe Valley Archers). Sitting in the pub after the N.F.A.S. Champs were held at Ashcombe in 1995 they came up with this unique idea. At first it was hosted by Devon based clubs, but later opened up to other clubs in the South West i.e. Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset when there were not enough Devon clubs willing to host it each year. It was renamed The South West Challenge in 2007. In 2016 it will have been running for 20 years, with the exception of 2001 when Devon was hit badly by Foot & Mouth. The basic format is an eight day challenge, held at four different venues, each club hosting two days at the end of July/ beginning of August, depending on calendar. Wednesday is a day off, for shopping, washing, kit repairs and of course recuperation. There are club trophies and medals for each two days. Scores are added up for the whole week and a Victor Ludorum trophy is awarded for each class. All archers completing the eight days will receive a certificate of achievement. There are two perpetual trophies, donated by Colin Smithers and Tony Vowden awarded to the best overall archer of the eight days, one adult, one junior. This is worked out on a handicap system. The John Lincoln Memorial Trophy is awarded to the Gent Longbow with the highest aggregate score of the eight days. A variety of rounds is shot, with Big Game on the second day of each venue, to ensure presentations are done in a reasonable time.  

It is what it says in the title – a challenge! Not only the devious course setting, but the terrain. Devon is not known for it’s flatness! It is a great way to improve your archery and make new friends. Some people have been coming down to Devon regularly each year, either camping or bed and breakfasting, and there are always new people ready to give it a go. We even have a few archers who come from overseas.