Scouts are demanding stricter gun controls after a woman was hit by shot from a hunter's shotgun at the Well End Scout centre near Borehamwood.

The woman, who was helping to run a Beaver troop, was hit in the ankle by shot from a gun which had been fired by a member of a shooting syndicate operating on land near the scout camp.

The incident has raised fears that the shooting party got too close to the Well End Activity Centre's grounds, which include 13 acres of woods and grassland just outside Borehamwood.

Site warden Brian Templeman said: "It could just as well have been her eye — we are not best pleased about this."

He said the shooting happened close to a public footpath, and had taken place only a few weeks after another incident, where a car travelling along Well End Road had been hit by a bullet or stone, causing a dent in the roof and a broken window.

Police had been unable to determine whether the car had been shot or hit with a stone.

Mr Templeman has now contacted the shooting syndicate, and demanded that more stringent safety procedures are put in place, to ensure that there is no question over whether children are safe to use the site.

"It's not just the cubs and scouts who use the centre's land, a great number of local schools use it, along with church groups and other organisations."

Hugh Dickson, from the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Shooting, said there were strict rules governing how shooting expeditions operated, which all huntsmen were expected to observe.

According to the CA's code, shooting is not allowed near occupied private sites, public footpaths or roads. Any hunter whose shooting is causing a danger to the public is supposed to be warned, and asked to leave if he or she refuses to be more careful.

He added that shot often fell from the air when shooting was taking place, but it was rarely more painful than being caught in a hailstorm.

The shooting syndicate is operated by a group of hunters who pay for the right to shoot on the land from its owner, the Wrotham Park Estate in Barnet.

Managing agent Lucy Aston, from Wrotham Park, said the arrangement between the estate and the syndicate had existed for a number of years, but refused to comment on the shooting incident. Nobody from the syndicate was available to comment.