COUNTRY sport enthusiasts from far and near will head for the Allen Valleys this weekend.

The annual Whitfield Clay Shoot, which has been a mainstay for decades, will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day shoot is recognised as one of the UK’s biggest events of its kind, and is set to attract over 200 competitors. A major source of fund-raising, the clay shoot is renowned for generating tens of thousands of pounds each year for worthy causes.

One of the organisers Margaret Ridley said: “We’re hoping to have 60 teams of four, if not more, over the weekend. We have a lot of loyal supporters and who keep coming back, and we always welcome new faces.

“There’s always a nice friendly atmosphere, and hopefully the good weather that we’ve enjoyed recently will continue.”

As always, the picturesque setting of the Whitfield Estate will provide the backdrop for an event which provides an ideal close season challenge for shooting enthusiasts.

From 10 shooting stands, teams will take aim at simulated game flushes, with clays travelling at the same height and speed as birds or animals.

This year’s beneficiaries will be Thornley Leazes Residential Care Home in Allendale, Hexham-based charity Lifespan, which supports people with serious and life-limiting illnesses, and Allendale Agricultural Society.

Last year’s event was in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which supports Motor Neurone Disease research.

To enter a team, and for more information, visit http://www.whitfieldclays.co.uk.