IN a patch of woodland high up on a remote hillside, a bearded man laughs as he flings axes through the air.

It sounds like a scene from a dark backwoods slasher thriller, but this is not the Appalachians or Texas, but the gentle downs of south Oxfordshire. And the man with the blades is really very responsible. He really is.

The laugh is real though, for this is Harry Househam – better known as the face of Jericho Comedy Club and a man who has spent lockdown finding new and imaginative ways of getting us smiling. But instead of putting comedians on punts or organising drive-in gigs, Harry is now releasing his inner caveman and getting to grips with choppers. And he thinks we could all benefit.

“The last year has been one largely devoid of events, at least the type of live and in person events not characterised by Zoom meetings, interrupted by household pets and postal deliveries arriving at the door,” he says.

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“But now that restrictions are beginning to open up, the future is looking a bit brighter and this spring and summer are set to be defined by outdoors events, with fresh air and sun helping to ensure Covid safety. Which is why we’re incredibly excited to be launching our new outdoor events company with a pop-up campsite and ‘cutting edge’ axe throwing range”.

Ridgeway View Events has set up the Ridgeway View site at Sheepcote Farm Mongewell, near Wallingford.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” says Harry – who is events manager. “We’re all about getting people outdoors, enjoying the summer, and some fresh air after a really tough year and axe throwing is a great way to blow off some steam.”

In action at the Ridgeway View axe Throwing Range. Picture by Ed Nix

In action at the Ridgeway View axe Throwing Range. Picture by Ed Nix

The art of axe throwing goes back into the medieval period, and earlier, when Frankish forces, Anglo Saxons and Vikings would each have thrown axes in battle at opposing forces.

The modern sport of throwing axes at wooden targets started in America and Canada, however, but has well and truly returned back over the pond. Far from being the preserve of country folk, it has become a popular urban pursuit, particularly in the hipper parts of London. Harry says its popularity has tripled year on year to become one of the UK’s fastest growing sports.

And, yes, it is safe. Sessions start with a safety briefing from a trained instructor, with some time to practise hurling axes at wooden targets painted on tree stumps.

Participants compete head to head and score points, though hitting the target and getting the axe stuck is the first real accomplishment.

“It’s a bit like darts for lumberjacks, or aunt sally meets a Viking battle,” smiles Harry.

“These days axe throwing is more recreational, focussing on safety and fun rather than battles. It makes the perfect activity for getting together with friends, family gatherings, birthday parties, or date nights.”

In action at the Ridgeway View axe Throwing Range. Picture by Ed Nix

In action at the Ridgeway View axe Throwing Range. Picture by Ed Nix

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* Ridgeway View Camping and Axe Throwing Range is at Sheepcote Farm, Mongewell, near Wallingford. Camping and axe throwing sessions can be booked at or by emailing