Farming is at the heart of the West Country and the region is home to more livestock than any other area in the UK.
Living on a farm allows you to live a potentially healthier lifestyle; for those of you who are yet to live and breath the rural lifestyle, we take a look at the top five myths and misconceptions when it comes to buying your own farm.
You have to be from a farming background
Do you really need to be from a farming background to set up a farm?
Having agricultural experience certainly helps, but some of the country’s most successful farmers started out with little or no practical knowledge.
Jim Doherty, known from the BBC series ‘Jimmy’s Farm’, is one of many examples that you don’t need experience to succeed. Jim’s farming career began in 2002 when he established a rare pig breed farm in Kent. For a number of years his progress was followed by the BBC and, today, Jimmy’s Farm has an award-winning restaurant, butterfly house and hosts food festivals throughout the year.
His pigs don’t fly but we think that’s definite proof that you don’t need agricultural experience to buy a farm!
It’s all mud, sweat and tears
Farming is often portrayed to be a backbreaking industry, with little reward. However, the benefits can be huge; latest statistics show the total UK earnings from farming is around £5.3 billion a year!
According to Defra (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) more than 300,000 are employed by the agriculture sector in England and 62,000 of the total workforce are in South West. If you’re looking for a career in agriculture there are plenty of viable options available to you.
You have to go big to succeed
Buying a large acreage farm doesn’t guarantee your it’s going to be successful.
Some of the most profitable businesses have developed from smallholdings by diversifying into tourism and farm shops.
For example Hallwood Farm Shop based near Petrockstowe is an award winning shop and grows the majority of its vegetables on the farm.
Meanwhile Parkside Farm in Middlesex transformed its mixed dairy and arable farm into one of the UK’s best pick your own businesses and this year went on to become Retail Champion of the Year in the national FARMA awards.
Proof that you don’t need to buy big to become successful!
We can help you find the perfect farm to suit your needs, take a look at services here… http://westcountrydream.co.uk/land-property-search/
It’s bank breaking
Farming can often be misconceived to be ‘bank breaking’, but if you’re looking at taking your first step in the industry, you’ll be pleased to know that land prices remain stable.
If you’re considering a move from the city to the West Country, you’ll be able to get more for your money. Figures show the average semi-detached property in London is fetching more than £500,000; this will go a long way towards your first farm!
It’s a dwindling industry
Farming in the West Country is far from in decline. Alongside tourism, agriculture plays a crucial role in the West Country’s economy, directly contributing more than £1.6 billion a year.
Since 2009 the farming industry has contributed £10 billion to the UK’s economy, which is an increase of £3.1 billion (about 45 per cent) over five years.
Meanwhile, sales of organic farm produce rose by 4% last year so if you’re hoping to grow and sell your own products, now is the time to start!
West Country Dream helps people looking to buy farms and smallholdings achieve their West Country Dream. For more information on how we can help your move become a reality please give Helen a call on 07816 514667.