3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

The idea behind the Hens ‘n’ Guns 2016 calendar

PUBLISHED: 14:29 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:29 04 January 2016

Hens n Guns calendar girls: Lisa Macdonald-Smith, Lou Dancey, Claire Vincent, Charmain Plummer, Paula Bater, Karen Rees and Tina Lee

Hens n Guns calendar girls: Lisa Macdonald-Smith, Lou Dancey, Claire Vincent, Charmain Plummer, Paula Bater, Karen Rees and Tina Lee


Lisa Macdonald-Smith reveals why the ladies of the Hens ‘n’ Guns were prepared to bare all to create a stylish calendar to raise money for a Dorset charity

It’s not often that you find yourself nearly naked in a field of rippling golden corn somewhere in Dorset, holding a broken gun over your arm and a dog by your side. But when it’s in order to raise some funds for a great local charity that has helped one of your best friends – well why not!

But I wasn’t alone, there were several other ladies prepared to tastefully bare all alongside me. They were fellow members of the Dorset-based women only shooting club Hens ‘n’ Guns. And we were doing this bold photo shoot to support one of our members.

Hens ‘n’ Guns was started four years ago by me, my friends Karen Rees, Clare ‘Tigs’ Bundy and Claire Vincent. Some of us, having been the founding members of Dorset Game Birds in 2006, decided that a smaller, more intimate ladies only group was the way forward and Hens ‘n’ Guns was hatched! The majority of us live around Wareham and Blandford, but we also have members from Christchurch and Cucklington.

Since setting up Hens ‘n’ Guns we have had a lot of fun: we compete in local clay competitions, game shoot, gundog train and work our dogs in the field. Some of our members go fly fishing and stalking - basically anything to do with country pursuits. We also hold an annual charity clay shoot by kind permission of Bloxworth Estate to raise money towards our chosen charity for the year.

Last year we raised over £4,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Research with a charity clay shoot sponsored by AC Shooting School, Blandford and our first Hens ‘n’ Guns Calendar. The idea for the calendar came about at a girlie shooting weekend. Over supper (and after several glasses of wine) we came up with this mad idea of making some money for local charities by doing one of those ‘WI Calendar Girls’ type shoots. It took a while to convince ourselves to do it - a lot of us are not exactly spring chickens or built like models - but in the end we decided that what mattered was to show real ladies doing a sport they love. We were also very lucky that one of our Hens, Clare (Tigs) Bundy, is an extremely talented amateur photographer. So Tigs has taken most of the photographs for our 2016 calendar.

This year things took an unexpected turn, one of our chief Hens, Karen Rees, was diagnosed with colon cancer in January 2015. After major surgery in February she is now cancer free and fighting fit thanks to the fantastic support and expertise of the Bowel Cancer Unit at Poole General Hospital. So this year’s calendar is to raise money for the Poole Hospital Bowel and Colon Cancer Fund.

So in our dressing gowns, with guns in hand and dogs at our heels, we bared all for another calendar. We started in February and took the final shots in June. To do a special photo shoot like this we required some privacy in beautiful Dorset locations; so we would like to thank Graham Brown of Purbeck Shooting School for letting us have the sole use of his grounds when no one was around, also Iwerne Estate and Bloxworth Estate.

We got things off to a flying start in August fundraising over £1,800 at our charity clay shoot sponsored by Purbeck Shooting School and held at Bloxworth Estate. There has been a lot of laughter and tears during the photo shoots, which have been so close to our hearts, and Karen appears several times in our latest calendar. We hope that with great sales of the Hens ‘n’ Guns Calendar we will be helping lots of local people who could find themselves in a similar situation to Karen.

Where to buy the Hens ‘n’ Guns Calendar

Hens ‘n’ Guns Calendar 2016 costs £10 find it locally at Dorset Aqua Dogs Hydrotherapy, Purbeck Shooting School (Bere Regis), Conyers Gun Shop (Blandford), The Dorset Gun Company (Parkstone) and Lamberts of Ringwood to name but a few. Or order online for £13 (includes postage) by emailing hensandgunscalendar@gmail.com or via the Facebook page - Hens ‘N’ Guns Calendar. If you would like to make a donation towards our chosen charity, Poole Hospital Bowel and Colon Cancer Fund, then please contact either Lisa Macdonald-Smith on 07796 271536 or Karen Rees on 07818 112719. If you would like to know more about Hens ‘n’ Guns then please call Lisa or Karen on the numbers above.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Hosted by Martin and Philippa Clunes, this year’s event drew people, ponies and dogs from far and wide to raise funds for Dorset County Hospital Charity Cancer Appeal

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

Calling all self-professed Clunatics! Test your knowledge on Doc Martin with our quiz.

Read more
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fanny Charles meets some of the residents and businesses owners who are proud to call Dorset’s newest town the place where they work, live and play

Read more
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Donna and Harry Mosley have brought the taste of their world travels to The Paddle in Highcliffe, where brunch and lunch is a deliciously leisurely affair

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here we turn the spotlight on some of our county’s most successful and discover what makes them tick

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith has brought the plight of detainees at Guantanomo Bay into the art rooms of local schools

Read more
Friday, March 2, 2018

Rural communities throughout the UK could be eligible to receive funding via the Calor Rural Community Fund from energy provider Calor

Read more
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

His extraordinary physique made Chang Woo Gow famous, but this well educated family man sought escape from the limelight in Boscombe

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Retired drama teacher turned film director and producer, Rosita Clarke tells us about the ghostly Dorset love story that has just won her an award at an international film festival

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We’ve been lucky enough to speak to some of Dorset’s best known over the years. Here’s what they love most about this beautiful county

Read more
Monday, January 29, 2018

A world-renowned explorer, a palaeontologist and futurist, and a butterfly conservator reveal the importance of the past for the future of mankind

Read more
Monday, January 15, 2018

AFC Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe tells Andy Greeves how having a virtually vegan diet has helped to keep him at the top of his game and why beetroot helps him run faster

Read more
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Would you decorate your home with human bones and old medical instruments? Plenty do, according to one Dorset couple, which piqued Faith Eckersall’s morbid curiosity

Read more