Success Stories

Quantock Lakes - farmers diversify to create business opportunities

Almost half of UK farmers are planning to pursue diversified income streams to support their agricultural businesses, according to new research from leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.
With changes to Government support and the way Britain trades with the rest of the world ahead, farmers are diversifying their businesses to boost profitability and fortify their farms for the future.
Forty eight per cent of farmers are planning to set up or expand diversification businesses following Brexit, moving into new areas such as tourism, recreation, hospitality, retail and renewable energy. 
This figure has doubled since NFU Mutual carried out similar research in 2018 and found 23 per cent of farmers were planning to expand or start diversification enterprises.

The success of Glamping @ Rankins Farm - A peaceful glamping destination

Owned by the Sunnucks family since 1963, the estate was a working farm until 2017, and now provides a first class glamping destination for visitors to this beautiful county. All pods provide you with all you would need for an incredible stay, including en-suites, WiFi, underfloor heating, kitchenettes, fire pits, and picnic benches. The site has a small adventure playground and a boules pitch, with other activities available.  Also offered is the "Blistering Beast" for communal use, this is an amazing wood burning pizza oven that not only can you cook pizzas, but a roast, or breakfast and then all sit together in the new wooden gazebo and enjoy your surroundings.

Psycho path team in barn

Somewhere, on a farm in the heart of County Durham, something is going bump in the night. Lintz Hall Farm, near Burnopfield, is a fourth-generation family business, home to more than 500,000 chickens, which supplies eggs to major supermarkets across the UK. But once a year, at what is undoubtedly the scariest date on the calendar, it also becomes home to the North East’s biggest scream park.

Near Edge Holidays Shepherd Huts

Two years ago, we left the dairy farming business which had been Near Edge Farm’s main income for nearly 100 years. It was a daunting new venture for us as we sought new ways to diversify to make ends meet.

I’ve always loved the shepherd huts, and never thought that one day I would have one, let alone be using it to make an income. John and Dave were fantastic from the start. Despite being all the way down in Wales, they were friendly and very easy to work with. 

Dorset Ice Cream

Local company Baboo Gelato has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Food or Drink Business (South West) at the 2019/20 Rural Business Awards, held in partnership with Amazon. The proudly Dorset artisan ice cream producer will be up against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs and enterprises from across the South West region to secure a place at the national final. This year marks the Awards' fifth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK's rural economy - a sector which employs more than 3.4 million people in England alone.

Baboo Gelato was launched in 2015 by Annie Hanbury, a Bologna-trained gelatiere, who wanted to combine her passion for ice cream making with the glut of fabulous ripe fruit from her kitchen garden. The company also use the finest fresh, local ingredients including organic milk from a South Somerset farm. Annie and her team handmake all Baboo's gelato and sorbet from scratch using traditional techniques.

Glamping pod at The Farm Business Innovation Show 2019

If sandy beaches, real ales and one of the world’s best-known golf courses close by sounds like your type of holiday, then you only have to wait until 1st June for the grand opening of Wigwam® Holidays Largo Law.

Based in the East Neuk of Fife, six en-suite glamping cabins nestle on this working farm just 11 miles from St Andrews. 

Owned by Ron and Sheilann Smith, the couple have diversified their working farm to include glamping accommodation in this stunning part of Scotland bringing brand new glamping options to the region.

 Co-owner Ron said: “We are delighted to be part of one of the country’s leading glamping accommodation providers, Wigwam® Holidays.

Alpaca Yoga at Rosebud Ranch

Rosebud Ranch have recently diversified into a very successful alpaca farm, offering plenty of activities for visitors including Alpaca Yoga and Tai Chi. Farm Diversity had the opportunity talk to Lucy Aylett, to delve into how they created this delightful farm and made it into exactly the venture they had dreamt of... 

'Rosebud Ranch is an alpaca farm in North Devon, recently known as 'the wellness ranch', and it is our home along with the Rosebud Alpacas. They are quality alpacas which we breed for fleece, we sell the yarn from our prize winners and we make/sell other alpaca related products. We also sell alpacas to appropriate homes as pets or for breeding and our herd participate in alpaca experiences. We pride ourselves on offering sessions in the alpaca's environment, ensuring our herd are relaxed and interested. Their welfare is paramount but this also provides a more authentic experience to our guests.

Supporting The Farming Industry's Ambition To Diversify
Bringing forward farm and rural diversification projects of varying size and complexity is a growing area of inter­est for Pegasus Group. 

This has traditionally involved the change of use of land or buildings to form tourist accommoda­tion, and more recently has included renewable energy schemes. 

One the Group’s more un­usual projects was to gain planning consent for the conversion of redundant farm buildings to form a cookery school with asso­ciated tourism accommo­dation at Highfield Farm, East Riding of Yorkshire. 

Another was at Easton Farm, Bridlington, where we provided lead planning advice on a large farm diversification project that entailed the con­version of existing farm buildings and new build units to form 28 holiday homes. Pegasus Group was involved in the conception and project management of the proposals resulting in the scheme being granted permission, overcoming issues of sustainable devel­opment and impact upon the landscape. 

Two Farmers Crisps

A new crisp brand, Two Farmers, is offering consumers a plastic and waste-free solution in 2019 with a delicious artisan range of crisps in a 100% compostable packet. The packets are a  first of their kind for the UK crisp market and will biodegrade in just 26 weeks in a home-composting unit.

The crisp range includes four flavours:

Hereford Bullshot- Gently seasoned with spices and the delicious flavour of Hereford Beef- GF

Salt & Two Farmers Cider Vinegar- Lightly salted and flavoured with Two Farmers own cider vinegar, made from apples grown in their Herefordshire orchards - Vegan-friendly & GF

Lightly Salted- Lightly seasoned with Droitwich Salt, which is harvested by hand from natural springs and crystallised using renewable energy - vegan-friendly & GF

Owd Barn farm diversification – Helen with a tractor

Editor Victoria Galligan visits a family business with a long track-record of farm diversification – the Owd Barn in Bispham, West Lancashire.

The Owd Barn has nearly 30 years of diversification behind it – but that doesn’t mean the Ashcroft family are resting on their laurels. Far from it in fact. As I sit down with the owners’ daughter, Helen Charlesworth, she explains that renovations are planned to further make use of the space in the barn which has become a popular visitor destination over the past three decades.