Rebecca Phillips is a planning inspector based in Wales, and was previously the Royal Town Planning Institute’s planning policy officer for Wales. Her first love outside work is clay pigeon shooting.
Q. How did you get into clay pigeon shooting?
My father was keen on the sport and in my teenage years I used to have a go with his gun. I let my interest lapse for a few years, but my husband was a firearms officer in the police. When he retired, my dad suggested he take up clay pigeon shooting, and we ended up going together.
Q.How often do you practice?
I try and go as often as I can – at least once a week – any opportunity I get, really.
Q. Do you get involved in competitions?
My husband has overtaken me, and now he is working as a professional instructor. I am trying to encourage women to enter the sport, and have helped set up a “Chelsea bun club” which provides a competition for women at all levels. The idea is that you bake a cake and bring it along to a session where you get some instruction and a light-hearted competition. The instructor gets to judge the cake – that element is probably more competitive than the shooting part!
Q. Do you know any other planners who are keen clay pigeon shooters?
Two colleagues of mine in the office take part. One has always done it, but one heard us talking about it and said they would like to have a go and now they shoot regularly.
Q. Are there any similarities between clay pigeon shooting and your day job?
In planning you have to enjoy the outdoors. You get to visit some nice places, such as national parks, where I have done a number of inspections. Site visits demand a lot of walking. Similarly, in clay pigeon shooting you get to visit some beautiful natural areas. But I keep them separate – it would not be appropriate to turn up at a planning inquiry with my guns!
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