Bowmen of Backworth


We run free Have–a–Go sessions on the first Saturday of the month from April to September, and one extra in October this year, 10 AM to 1 PM.
Why not come along and try?

The Bowmen of Backworth

The Bowmen of Backworth is a friendly, totally non–discriminatory, long–established recreational archery club. As a section of Backworth Miners Welfare, we enjoy all the facilities offered by Backworth Hall. We cater for all target archers whether shooting longbow, barebow, flat bow, horse bow, recurve (the Olympic bow) or compound at our full 100–yard facility. Archers can be competitive or not, it’s entirely up to them.
We even have a tractor and trailer for putting out and taking in the targets.

We support and encourage all archers whatever their ability, be they ardent competitors or recreational shooters. Membership is open to all.
As sole users of our field, we can shoot 24/7, subject to the latest Archery GB Rules of Shooting, but have designated target days on Wednesdays and Sundays with Saturdays reserved for coaching. We also have one indoor facility for winter shooting, and another for coaching and practice.


We are affiliated to Archery GB, Durham and Northumberland Archery Association and Northern Counties Archery Society. We welcome all archers who are affiliated with any recognised National Archery Association and we also offer our coaching facilities to them.

Throughout the year we run a number of our nationally recognised ONE–DAY beginners’ courses in which a new archer is taught the basics of safe archery, and taken from the delight of hitting the target with all three arrows to moaning that they are not all in the gold. These will give you the basics to join our club and continue progression from there.

We also run several FREE Have-a-Go sessions in the spring and summer months where you can come and try, with all equipment provided, to see if the archery bug bites.

Crossbows fall outside of our remit and are not permitted at any of our venues.

You can follow us on Facebook, and visit our easyfundraising page where you can raise free donations for us when you shop online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Archery is a very safe sport when performed correctly, and we are governed by Archery GB’s Rules of Shooting. Clearly there is a potential danger—a bow is a weapon after all—but archery is actually one of the safest sports practised in the UK today. We have Archery GB–qualified level 1 and level 2 coaches with plenty of years of experience coaching adults, children and impaired archers. We can provide expert coaching to people who have never practiced archery before and are coming to any of our recreational sessions, Have–a–Go’s or parties. We also provide experienced archers with expert coaching to improve their own techniques and performance. All of our ranges are approved for safe archery.

Yes, Archery GB insures beginners for up to six visits to our venues; thereafter you are required to join an archery club to continue. It need not be our club but we hope it is. Your coaches will explain more if necessary.

Visiting archers will be required to show a valid membership card from their National Archery Association.

We have the “Backworth Boutique,” our small refreshment facility which sells, economically, chocolate bars, crisps and drinks. We also have basic facilities for making tea and coffee, and Backworth Hall has a bar and catering facilities.

All our coaches are fully qualified and certified Archery GB coaches with enhanced CRB clearance and child protection course certification. As well as coaching archery, they regularly shoot recreationally and competitively.

No, our ranges are not suitable for the shooting of crossbows. Crossbows fall outside of the remit of Archery GB and ourselves.

Outdoors, at Backworth Hall, we shoot distances ranging from 10 to 100 yards. Imperial rounds go from 48 arrows at 20 and 30 yards (24 arrows at each distance) up to 144 arrows at 60, 80 and 100 yards (24, 48 and 72 arrows respectively). World Archery and Archery GB metric rounds go from 30 metres to 90 metres.

During the indoor season, we normally shoot 20 yards at much smaller target faces but there are a number of other rounds that we can shoot.

You can find out all the latest information on our shooting schedule on our join us page.

No, bow hunting and bow fishing are illegal in the UK.

Attaching a broadhead to your arrow is also not allowed as they destroy the targets.

Yes, but until you have taken and passed a recognised beginners’ course you will be unable to use it on any Archery GB approved range. We strongly recommend that any beginner/novice does not purchase any equipment until passing the beginners’ course and seeking advice from our club coaches. Your coaches and the experienced archers in the club will advise you on this matter. The club has a number of bows which can be hired at a very low charge until such times that you feel confident to go forward. Our coaches will measure you and advise the type, size, and power of the equipment that is best for you. The club normally has a number of “pre-loved” bows available for sale which can be tailored to your requirements.

Eye dominance is when the brain prefers the sight of one eye over the other and is not related to being right or left handed. Most people are either right eye or left eye dominant, but some people are neither. Your eye dominance determines which hand you should hold the bow with. Your coaches will assist you in finding which is your dominant eye.

Our club is predominantly recurve–based, though several members shoot compound, longbow, barebow and horse bow.

We currently do not allow crossbows due to safety concerns.

We cannot tell you which type of bow to buy, this must be your decision. Your coaches and the experienced archers in the club will gladly give you advice and information on the types of bow they shoot. We also recommend that you speak to as many archers as possible about their bows before you make up your mind. Some archers may even let you try them – but don’t be offended if not, bows are very personal things.

A Robin Hood is a much coveted but expensive accolade for an archer. This is where one arrow embeds itself in the back of another arrow already in the target. This is normally expensive because not only is the first arrow destroyed, but the second arrow is also damaged beyond use. It becomes a very expensive trophy. In a competition, both arrows would be scored the same.

The current club membership fee is available on request.

Members pay Archery GB, NCAS and DNAA membership/affiliation fees. There are a range of price reductions for various categories to which you may be entitled. The Secretary or Treasurer can advise you on this. The Backworth Miners Welfare and Club Membership fees are due 1st February and affiliation fees are due by 30th September. We have a £2.00 session fee for members, but visiting archers are welcome at any of our regular shoots (space permitting) for a fee of £4.00 on production of a current National Archery Association membership card.

Almost anyone can take part in archery. There are no age limits but we will evaluate children to ensure that, in our opinion, they can shoot without harm. Juniors under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Many impairments can also be catered for, including wheelchair users and those with visual impairments. However please notify us in advance so we can ensure the impaired archers are suitability catered for. We can arrange for any specific equipment that may be needed to ensure the success of the session.

No, there is no maximum age for archery; plenty of people take up the sport after retiring.

This is linked to ability to draw the bow and loose the arrow rather than age. We have trained archers as young as 8. Please contact us for advice.

Yes. Many visually impaired archers, ranging from those with some difficulty seeing to those totally without sight, shoot for enjoyment and in competitions. There is much equipment and coaching to help. Depending on the degree of sight loss we may ask that you are supported by a helper at all times.

Yes, within certain physical parameters, we are able to help and coach almost anybody to become archers. Depending on the degree of impairment we may ask that you are supported by a helper at all times.

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