ON THE weekend, Overton Black Arrows hosted their annual field archery competition on the picturesque hills above Kingsclere.

The club has been shooting there for 50 years this year and had big plans for a celebration.

But this has now had to be postponed for 12 months to take place in 2021.

Competitive archery was cancelled in March this year.

After working with Archery GB, this was the first competition post-lockdown in the UK, run as a cut back, socially distanced competition.

Competitors were met at the farm gate and marshalled through practice butts, then onto the course.

Field archery is similar to golf; archers walk around a course of 24 targets, in groups of 3 - 4. Targets are different sizes set out up, down or across the slopes, as well as in the adjacent woods. Archers shoot 3 arrows, score them and then move onto the next target.

This format makes it ideal to run during these strange times; gatherings can be eliminated and the few dozen archers attending each day simply disappear in the huge area over which the competition is run.

Seventy archers competed over the two days.

As the first competition since lockdown, it attracted many of the country’s top archers – both from the Olympic and GB field teams.

All were incredibly pleased to be outside shooting after months of very limited access to facilities.

Over the two days, Hampshire archers broke 9 county records.

Light winds and very strong sun made for a fantastic event, clearing the cobwebs off bow, arrow and back muscles alike. For more information and pictures of the event, please see www.overtonblackarrows.org