Meet the Instructors

At Bisley we pride ourselves on having world-class layouts to match the industry-leading instructors. Every member of the team is carefully selected and the instructors are all renowned within their field, with the majority having shot for their country or county.

We understand that it’s not just about finding the best instructors in the business, but that the relationship between the instructor and the client is most important. As such we believe a relaxed and welcoming approach to shooting provides the best results for all.

With dedicated members of the team to work on appointments, corporate and private events we can cater to any wishes to create a bespoke solution for your needs.

For more details on instruction click on the relevant school or call us: Bisley Shooting Ground +441483797017 or Bisley at Braidwood +441835870280

John Heagren

Described by the Shooting Gazette as “a master of the art” John has been part of the instructing team at Bisley for the last 20 years, and has been instrumental in growing the world-class teaching at the ground. As Shooting Manager John ensures that all instructors are at the top of their game when it comes to clay or game shooting instruction. John regularly appears in The Field’s top 100 game shots and the CPSA Top 20 Sporting shooters list. He also competes at the highest level, having won the Beretta World AA class and been runner up at the UK FITASC championship three times! In 2012 John was ranked UK number 1 in FITASC averages.

John was a gamekeeper for 13 years at the Middleton Estate, Longparish. In his younger days he used to play cricket for Hampshire, also playing and winning at Lords for Longparish in the national village championships. In the off seasons he enjoys playing golf to a scratch handicap. John brings an understanding and an ability to instruct clients ranging from the complete novice to the seasoned campaigner in a fun and hugely rewarding way.

In 2014 John competed against 20 of the country’s best shots to win a Morgan Supercar for 6 months! Among the finalists were George Digweed (winner of 23 world titles), Mark Marshall (No. 2 in FITASC World rankings) and Sam Green (British Open Champion).

Tony Bracci

Tony’s introduction to shooting was at the age of ten with a .410 shooting at a coke can swinging from a tree. This soon moved on to clays, but the seed was forever sown by that first coke can!

On leaving school Tony embarked on a career in Game Keeping. Starting in Devon on a high bird shoot, followed by two seasons on a Scottish Grouse Moor and finally settling in the south, firstly on a commercial shoot then on a smaller family shoot.

Whilst Game Keeping, Tony spent much time double gunning on local estates and it was here that his passion for coaching started. Teaching techniques to help clients improve their shooting in order to get the best out of their day. With over twenty years experience, Tony has had the opportunity to visit the best shoots in the UK and abroad, as well as looking after everyone from rock legends to captains of industry and royalty.

Tony finds it particularly rewarding introducing young shots and newcomers to the sport. For the past 10 years Tony has also been coaching both rifle and shotgun shooting at two private schools with the aim of students leaving with a full understanding of any shooting situation, the relative safety issues and etiquette. From that first shot, through to competing at National competitions (with several wins too). Tony’s expertise covers Trap, Skeet and Sporting clays as well simulated driven game , walked up and shooting from a hide. Tony is also our resident Master Gunfitter ensuring that you get the best measurements before having a bespoke gun made.

Tony is happily married with two beautiful daughters and is never happier than when out shooting with his dogs or sitting in a pigeon hide!

Andrew Small

Andrew started shotgun shooting at the age of twelve and has shot all over the UK from the bogs of Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands. His background is in agriculture & forestry where he worked as a freelance instructor and assessor before returning to teach at the UK’s top colleges and for the Forestry Commission. In more recent years Andrew has worked as an arboricultural consultant involved with planning and development schemes for county councils and local authorities.

For several years Andrew has provided coaching on game and clays, introducing many newcomers to the sport. He is also a former deer manager and long range rifle competitor with a vast knowledge of ballistics and confesses to have owned “far too many guns”!

When not shooting Andrew can be found picking up with his dogs on shoots or fishing with them on wind-swept beaches.

Andrew joined the Bisley instructing team in the Spring of 2016 following his acceptance into the Association of Professional Shooting Instruction (APSI) and is a popular member of the team.

Chris Birkbeck

Chris joined Bisley Shooting Ground in 2004 when he decided to leave the world of Financial Services where he’d had a successful career for over 15 years. His interest in shooting, however, began many years before that. Initially as purely a hobby Chris’s love of shooting soon took on a more professional footing when he helped his late father with the setting up and running of the a Shooting Club in Newbury. Having previously shot for Hampshire and won the Inter-County Championship, Chris is a member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors and when not instructing he continues to shoot for his own enjoyment.

Enjoying the complex nature of setting up varied and challenging clay and simulated game layouts Chris utilises his numerous years of experience to set up the Bisley Shooting Ground monthly Club Shoots. Chris’s crowning achievement was to take a novice shooter and coach them at Bisley, resulting on them making the GB ladies Team in 2016 & 2017. His other passion is a life long enslavement to Portsmouth Football Club!

Dawn Smith

Dawn was persuaded to have a go at shooting by her husband Steve over 20 years ago, and her immediate skill and enormous passion for the sport meant that he has almost come to regret it! Dawn’s ability soon took her to shooting competitively both in the UK and abroad, as well as representing Surrey in county and inter-county competitions. Needless to say her passion for the sport led to her becoming Surrey Ladies champion in a number of disciplines.

Because of her love for the sport and encouraging others into it, Dawn decided to step down from her full time career as Contracts Manager for a major distribution company and joined the Bisley Shooting Ground team in 2006. Dawn is qualified as a member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors as well as the CPSA and LANTRA in both clay and game shooting.

Steve Smith

Steve has always been a passionate shot. He began shooting clays in the 1980’s and soon progressed to the international trap disciplines competing both at home and in Europe. Following the success of this Steve took on game shooting as a further discipline and decided to become a shooting coach in the early 2000’s. Following his real passion for the sport, and the joy of instructing Steve took early retirement from his career as UK Sales Office Manager for an international company and joined Bisley Shooting Ground in 2005 and hasn’t looked back since!

Steve is a CPSA qualified Instructor and a member of The Association of Professional Shooting Instructors.

Nick Gander

Nick has over 50 years experience in game and clay target shooting. As an Honorary Research Fellow and life member of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Nick has a comprehensive knowledge of game shooting techniques and shooting etiquette, he also shoots competition clays at International level and is a former English Open Olympic Skeet Champion.

Through his enthusiastic and supportive approach to coaching Nick has established a committed following. Teaching beginners and novices and specialising in training competition shooters Nick has been teaching shooting techniques since the late 1970’s, and joined the Bisley Shooting Ground team in the early 1990’s. He is a Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) qualified shotgun instructor and an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) accredited coach.

Whether your ambition is to become an accomplished social shot or a serious shotgun competitor, Nicks’ reputation for no nonsense energetic mentorship will enable you to realise your full potential efficiently and safely.

Martin Chapman

Martin first started clay shooting in 1984 after he left HM Armed Forces and won a World Gold Medal, shooting for team GB in 2014. Martin has also won several awards at County level. Martin is a multi-disciplined clay shooter, shooting Sporting, FITASC, Compaq and Skeet, who also enjoys coaching in the field.

Martin decided to turn his passion for shooting into his profession and became a shooting instructor for several years before joining Bisley Shooting Ground in 2016.

His previous career spanned from HM Armed Services where he qualified as a small-arms instructor and a member of the Army Shooting Team, winning national prizes at Bisley, to corporate sales for Mercedes Benz.

Coming from rural Cambridge Martin spent his leave periods working with a Game Keeper where he developed a keen interest in Game Shooting. He has also coached in the field at a number of estates.

Martin’s greatest achievement as a coach was to take a novice junior shooter and coaching them to winning a Junior European Gold Medal.

Martin is a full member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors and when not instructing he continues to shoot competitively and for his own enjoyment.

John Stephens

John started shooting shotguns and also fly fishing at the age of 10. He was lucky enough to be allowed to shoot and fish at school, this was when it was ok for pupils to take a gun to school!

John’s career has passed through many different areas including Hotel Management, Engineering and finally into Software where he was Assistant Vice President for an American Software company. After retiring from the software industry John decided to share his passion for shooting and fishing by becoming a freelance instructor in both. John is a member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors and has been working as a freelance instructor at Bisley since 2006.

John’s past interests have included flying helicopters and Kart Racing, however when he is not instructing at Bisley he can now generally be found on a chalk stream somewhere!

Christine Atkinson

Christine worked as a Cival Servant for 20 years then decided that being cooped up in an office was not for her! After completing her LANTRA coaching and loading qualifications Christine coaches as a freelance instructor for 8 years whilst also shooting competitively, becoming  Sussex Ladies Champion in 2009 whilst pregnant with her daughter. She continues to represent Sussex shooting on a regular basis.

Partner of a Shepherd and daughter of a farmer Christine has spent many years beating, picking up, being a shoot captain and now loading and coaching for clients on the peg in the game season. She is never happier than being stood under partridges and pheasants and getting immense satisfaction helping her clients bring down that bird of the day!

Christine is a passionate instructor, however when not coaching clients she can be seen travelling up and down the country around Europe and the world competing in major championships.

Introducing new shooters to the sport of clay shooting, giving advice for competitive clay and game shooting and coaching and mentoring are hugely important parts of instructing for Christine. She looks forward to helping you improve at Bisley Shooting Ground.

Roger Keightley

Roger has been a keen shot since the age of ten when his uncle taught him to shoot on his farm in Oxford.

He joined the Met. Police Force in the early 70’s where he remained for thirty years till his retirement. Whilst in the Police Roger was introduced to clay pigeon shooting and represented the Force in competitions throughout the country.

Since leaving the Force he has maintained his ties, shooting as a retired officer. He was selected for and still remains in the Police Service UK team. He has shot both Nationally and Internationally for the Police.

He still remains an avid game shot during the shooting season and is a member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors. Roger hugely enjoys instructing all levels of experience.

Paul Stevens

Paul has been instructing in the field and clay target shooting for over 20 years. He has shot sporting clays competitively at club level for many years and is well known on the clay club circuit. He has taken the club championship at his local ground for five consecutive years and won the Side by Side Gamekeepers Shield.

Paul is a qualified gun fitter, where his previous background in mechanical engineering serves as a huge asset given the intricacy and need for precise measurements to ensure the best fit for the client. His calm, patient and relaxed approach to teaching has built a loyal, long-standing client base. Paul has a wealth of experience in the field and is understandably very popular as a game coach. He has a reputation for instilling confidence in this most demanding of disciplines and will often accompany his clients on a live day.

Paul is also an experienced gamekeeper and has been instrumental in the set up and management of several game shoots in Surrey and Hampshire. Paul is a Member of the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors. He is a staunch conservationist who cares passionately about the countryside. In his opinion shooting is the countryside’s lifeline. Paul enjoys sport, particularly motorcycling, as he rides himself. He also enjoys music and plays the guitar.

Derek Street

Derek started shooting nearly 40 years ago and has shot Game for over 30 years including helping run a syndicate shoot. Derek can regularly be seen out in the field and ran his own clay shooting ground for 13 years before handing it over to its members in 1999.

Derek is  A.P.S.I. trained to advanced level, a member of the association and takes great pride in passing on his years of experience to help others improve their shooting.

 

Ian Braithwaite

Ian has been involved in shooting for over 30 years and is a passionate game shot. With a wealth of experience both in the field and on the school, Ian can certainly iron out those bad habits and perfect your shooting.

Ian joined the NHS as a groundsman after school, became head gardener in 1987 and has remained in this position ever since. Ian qualified as a shooting instructor in 2007 with the Scottish Clay Target Association so he could bring his years of experience to the clay shooting discipline to help all levels of shooters improve their shooting.

Ian has huge enthusiasm in introducing new shots, and particularly Young Shots to this great sport. When not shooting, Ian can be found picking up with his Springer Spaniels, trout fishing or playing golf.

Billy Braithwaite

Born in the Borders Billy first started shooting at a young age. Fast forward through a 30 year career as an engineer, specifically as a manager in a precision engineering business and Billy has come full circle. Billy’s experience and background make for a great match when tackling the number of traps involved at Scotland’s largest sporting clay shooting ground.

An avid ‘extreme DIY’er’, when not working Billy can be found restoring cars, or chest deep (even in winter) in a loch or river enjoying his passion as a fly fisherman.

David Cater

With over 50 years of shooting experience, David took up coaching to put something back into the sport that has given him so much pleasure. David is a fully qualified BASC Safe Shot, Safety officer and Shotgun Coach.

David spent most of his career in agriculture forming strong links with the countryside and conservation. ‘At the end of the season I used to put my gun away, get it out in September, and wondered why my shooting lacked a certain consistency!’ Ring any bells? Since then David has been perfecting coaching techniques and takes tremendous satisfaction when instructing shooters, particularly seeing novice shooters break their first clay target. Who knows, a future Olympian may come from Bisley at Braidwood.

Kim Cooper

Kim has been involved with shooting for decades. Starting with a 30 year career in game keeping on both commercial and private Estates, and finally running his own shooting business in Warwickshire before ‘retiring’ to the Borders.

Kim brings with him a great deal of experience, particularly for the game shooter and particularly enjoys sharing his knowledge whilst adding great fun and a good sense of humour to the occasion. During the shooting season when Kim is not instructing, Kim can be found loading / picking up on local shoots or deerstalking.

His other passion is his motorcycles, often visiting race meetings and motorcycle shows around the country, as well as taking all important holidays to the Isle of Man Classic TT!

Ian Hendy

Ian Hendy  has been teaching both clay and game shooting for over 15 years. He is a passionate gameshooter and can often be found out in the field.  Ian is a qualified CPSA and APSI instructor and gets great satisfaction in bringing new people into the sport both young and old!

As well as shooting Ian is also a qualified archery instructor, satisfying his inner Robin Hood.  When not in the Scottish Borders Ian can be found enjoying the sunshine in France.