The oldes known continuous practice in the Uk is in Kilwinning, Scotland, where it is known as "dinging doon the do"!
It isn't necessary to have a mast -you can use a tower, steeple or any natural high point - a 'bird' or 'roost' of birds is fixed at the top, the archer toes the base of the tower and shoots a blunted arrow at this target.
Putting out a 'roost' is also possible by setting it out horizontally. (SPTA has a row of plastic ducks set out at 30yards for instance...)|In Europe, particularly Belgium, this is a popular pursuit, and masts can be transportable, being sections made up like pylons and carried on a low-loader. In the UK it is a rarer event, but one which hopefully will increase in popularity.
The recommended height it 90feet, anything less than this a fluflu arrow can reach and is best for safety.
Scoring varies according to target -a 'roost' of birds usually has one large bird and several 'hens', whereas Kilwinning archers have a single bird with different scores according to which part of the bird is hit
Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery
A full 'roost'
The magnificent popinjay on the right was constructed by P Hutchinson in his 'back yard'
ABOVE: SPTA's own mast at the St Georges Shoot, Huish Woods.