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Help and Advice
The team at GSC Grays, land and property specialists, advise on carrying out your farm diversification project while protecting wildlife…
How to identify and prepare for the biggest challenges around farm diversification
Making the decision to diversify a farm can bring many benefits - from increased profits, to improving the local economy, and even making farmers feel less isolated according to a 2018 report on diversification from NFU Mutual. But the process isn’t without challenges - primarily navigating often complex planning laws when applying for change of use. For those thinking of diversifying in 2020 or beyond here are the most common planning and legal issues you may face and how to prepare for them.
Edmund Sword, associate director at farm insurance specialist Lycetts, discusses the risks and insurance considerations for farmers thinking of diversifying.
The UK farming industry is currently navigating a rising tide of uncertainty, faced with a myriad of challenges, from increasing operating costs and decreasing food prices, to slashed subsidies and Brexit limbo.
In order to safeguard their incomes, secure stability and bolster their businesses, more and more farmers are turning to alternative revenue streams.
Diversification offers considerable scope for improving the economic viability of many farm businesses – with farmers’ access to ample space, sought-after rural settings and established business acumen helping them thrive in this field.
Farm Diversity is full of great ideas on making the most of your land. Some of the tried and tested forms of diversification you will already know about – you may even have gone down those routes already. But have you considered an alternative project? Here, editor Victoria Galligan takes a look at some of the more niche farm diversification projects out there which could just be your next move…
James Fulton of Amet Property discusses how you should be passionate about your diversification ideas to truly make them succeed…
Amet Property offer development consultancy services to rurally based businesses including appraisals to identify alternative uses of existing assets, help with obtaining planning consents for change of use and new build development, assistance with obtaining bank finance for projects and putting together grant funding applications.
Orchestra Land provide a commercial approach to maximising the value of land and estates through residential, industrial and commercial developments.
In times of economic uncertainty there are opportunities for farmers and estate owners to diversify and maximise value through development which is thriving due to record levels of demand for housing and warehouses (often referred to as beds and sheds by politicians).
So you’ve got the land, you’ve got a great idea and you’re ready to get rolling with achieving your diversification dream – but how do you convince your family it’s a good idea? Farm Diversity editor Victoria Galligan suggests how to get everyone on board – and keep them on side.
The very nature of farming means that many farms are family-owned. But it’s not just land and property that gets passed down from generation to generation – attitudes, practices and staunch views can also be a family trait.
If the “head” of your family has been doing things the same way for years, has friends in the area they don’t want to upset and really can’t imagine the farm making money in any other way than it always has done, then you’ve got a fight on your hands.
Following several failed diversification bids on the family farm near Turton, Lancashire, Celia Gaze opened a successful rustic wedding venue which turned the farm’s fortunes around now she shares her fortune in her new diversifying guide!
Trespassing, theft and safety of employees are just some of the things that can be a worry when you own a farm. Here, First Fence look at the steps you can take to ensure your farm is a safe and efficient place to work.
Create a Physical Barrier
You might have installed “No Trespass” signs around your farm, but that doesn’t mean people will always take note. One key way to prevent intruders and help keep your farm secure is to add in a physical barrier, and this can be done in a number of ways. Planting hedges is one option, but you may decide to add in a physical fence – or even barbed wire – to strongly deter intruders from trespassing on your property. You may also wish to have a guard dog too: not only will they help you to feel safe, their barks will alert you to any possible intruders, and should have trespassers running the opposite way.
Being 100% clear about who you are and what you’ve got to offer is crucial if you’re to move successfully into new areas and watch your business grow. How can you expect other people to buy into what you’re offering otherwise?
Diversifying your farm can be a quick win for your pocket but what about for the environment? If your new business pursuits create a harmful environmental impact, then not only are you jeopardising your local ecosystem, but you are risking future profits.
While you may be gaining quick wins. For example, hiring out your farm as a wedding venue, the next day when erosion and litter have caused a negative environmental impact, your crops may yield less produce at the next harvest or your local river may be polluted affecting tourism.
Consequently, it is important to keep a check on your environmental impacts while diversifying and expanding your business. Read on to discover our tops tips to stay ahead of the game.
Taking on new staff is likely to be one of the most challenging and potentially costly things you will have to do on your farm. The last thing you want is to hire the wrong person. With that in mind here are the key things to think about when hiring staff along with some interview tips to ensure you learn the most you from your candidate during the interview process.
Have you decided that farm diversification is the next step for your business, or maybe you are weighing up your options? Here you will find some great information to help you and your diversification journey.
You have decided upon your diversification project but your proposed development will require you to recover possession of land that is currently occupied by a tenant or licensee. What steps do you need to take?
If your land is agricultural land then your tenant is likely to be occupying as an agricultural tenant either under an agricultural holding under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 or a farm business tenancy under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.
If your tenant has a farm business tenancy (FBT) the agreement might also include a break clause that entitles you to bring it to an end early. If there is no break clause then you will need to consider the appropriate method for bringing it to an end and this will depend on whether it is a fixed term tenancy or a periodic tenancy and on the length of the tenancy term or duration of the periods, as different rules will apply.