What do you need to consider when relocating to the West Country Dream

What do you need to consider when relocating to the West Country Dream

Buying property with land West Country Properties

There’s a reason moving house is often referred to as one of the most stressful events in our lives. Combine this with a move across the country and a change of lifestyle, and you’ll soon realise that there’s plenty to consider for those relocating to the South West with the dream of owning their own smallholding or farm.

If you’re looking to make that move, here are just a few things you’ll need to be considering.

What do you want and what do you actually need?

Sometimes, there can be a big difference between the two, and the want can sabotage the need! Whilst it would be lovely to have a heated indoor pool, it is probably more important to have that extra acre of land in which you can grow your income.

You’ll invariably get more for your money when it comes to buying in the countryside when compared to areas within commutable distance of the city, but make sure you don’t get carried away; your focus will need to be evenly spread between business and lifestyle.

This also applies to the area that you want to move to. The idea of being completely out in the sticks and away from it all may seem idyllic to someone tired of the London rat-race, but is it practical? Do you have the time to drive for an hour to get food? How about a two hour drive to a central train station?

Small villages can provide those relocating with a great middle ground. The support of the local community and the proximity of local necessities you’re currently familiar with can be priceless.

Farming plans

Setting clear goals and targets is important when finding the right home and land for you and your family. If you plan on running a smallholding, then a house with a few acres may be just right for you. However, if you plan on growing that smallholding into something bigger within a year or two, it may be worth finding somewhere that suits those needs.

Having an understanding of the likelihood of being able to rent further land can also be something worth considering when it comes to expansion plans. This can often be a more cost effective way to grow, free from the initial capital expenditure on land (which will usually be in excess of £5,500 per acre).

Your future

If you’re moving your family to the countryside, whether they’re toddlers or children, they’re going to grow and your family could too! Whether that’s more children or elderly relatives and friends, it may be worth looking at properties with outbuildings with the potential of conversion.

Many farming families have cashed in on the revenues diversification can bring in the past decade; if you’re looking at unconverted outbuildings then make enquiries as to the chances of getting planning permission, and also gain an understanding of anybody else locally that has undertaken a similar thing. Seeking advice from people that have taken a similar journey and process can be invaluable in terms of knowledge, and it’s exactly where we can help at West Country Dream.

Renovations

It’ll be a decision many of us will have made in the past; we want a ‘project’ but just how much of a project do we want? Building costs can quickly escalate if you get into a renovation without fully understanding the work that needs to be done. Always ensure you get building quotes and the necessary surveys before committing to any purchase in order to save yourself the financial and emotional pain of any surprises.

If you’re after advice or guidance in finding the right smallholding or farm for you then call us on 07816514667

Securing your smallholding or farm

Securing your smallholding or farm

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

As with anything, there are some risks to having a smallholding or farm. Thefts frequently cause big problems, and it could even threaten your dream of running a smallholding or farm.

Whilst we can’t convince thieves that they shouldn’t steal, we can give you some advice on protecting your piece of countryside. Animals and equipment are the most commonly targeted, so protecting them could make a huge difference in a thief’s success.

Animals

Livestock is valuable, and thieves know that. There has been an increase in livestock theft across the country in recent years, so keeping those gates and fences secure is even more important. We also recommend that you tag your animals, or use a permanent labelling system such as tattooing. Alongside this, you should also keep an accurate log of all your livestock, as well as up to date photos. If your animals do get stolen, you’ll then have plenty of records to identify them, and thieves will find it harder to do anything with tagged animals.

You could also partner louder, aggressive animals with more passive animals in order to deter thieves. Llamas are notoriously aggressive, and the noise of guinea fowl would send anyone running.

Equipment

Your farm or smallholding is probably littered with expensive equipment which you can’t afford to have disappear. Thieves know this too, so it’s important to keep your tools, quad bikes, tractors, and everything else safely locked away.

Using robust locks can really help, just make sure you haven’t ‘hidden’ the key somewhere obvious (those fake rocks don’t work, and the thief will definitely look under that flower pot). If you can, install a keypad entry system to any outbuildings that you store expensive tools and items in. If you have an item such as a quad bike or tractor, make sure that you haven’t left the ignition key in, instead keep it in a secure place.

Another tip is to use etching or UV marking on your tools and equipment. Once marked, thieves will have trouble selling them on and they’ll be easily identifiable as yours. You should also keep a record of your equipment, including model, serial number, and proof of purchase.

General

There are also a few general things you can do on your smallholding or farm to deter anyone from breaking in and taking off with a goat and a tractor. Security lighting is a simple yet effective way to scare off possible thieves, and metal bars across windows on outbuildings will take away their chance to squeeze in.

Blocking off any unused access is also important, and put up signs on used entrances stating that your animals and equipment are closely monitored and security tagged. You should also take out specialist smallholding insurance, this may prove cost effective when compared to the replacement value of any stolen goods.

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

Devon vs Cornwall

Devon vs Cornwall

West Country Life West Country Properties

So you’ve made the first big decision, you want to move the the South West, but it is a pretty big place, so we need to start narrowing your search down. The first step is to decide which county is best for you.

Devon and Cornwall both have so much to offer, with plenty of activities, space, and great schools for the kids. Locals will, however, tell you that they’re different. At first, you might not see that yourself, and that’s why we’re here to help you. Here is a brief overview of each county to help you decide whether your new home is in Devon, or Cornwall.

Devon

Devon is split into a few areas that each have their own personality and style. These areas are East Devon, North Devon, and South Devon. As well as this, there’s also Exmoor and Dartmoor, so there’s plenty of choice available.

East Devon is great for beaches and has a real traditional atmosphere. The Jurassic coast is fascinating and there’s loads to keep kids happy. There’s also a lot of great countryside, with a large number of walking routes and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you want rural, then check out North Devon. With world class beaches such as Woolacombe and Saunton Sands, as well as the beautiful Exmoor national park, it really is a peaceful and gorgeous place. The only major road, the A361, only reaches half of the area, so be prepared for plenty of winding country lanes!

South Devon is more populated, with cities such as Exeter and Plymouth, and major tourist spots such as Torbay. But it isn’t all bright lights and high street shops, there’s also the iconic Dartmoor national park.

Throughout the county you’ll find farm shops, markets, and plenty of room for livestock whilst retaining a connection to modern life, with local cities Exeter and Plymouth growing rapidly. If you’re after a beautiful piece of the countryside, but stay connected to a small city then Devon is the place for you.

Cornwall

As the 9th largest county in England, and one of the largest coastlines in the UK, Cornwall is definitely the best place for fans of the seaside! The north coast allows you to dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and the South is surrounded by the English Channel.

There’s only one city in the county, Truro, which is fairly central, the rest is small towns and open countryside – perfect for a truly rural lifestyle. The deeper you get into Cornwall, the more you’ll feel like you’re a world away from your old city life.

If you want to throw yourself into farming life, then staying away from the coast will provide you with ample space and many areas are only accessible by small, winding roads. Don’t expect to be able to pop to Tesco at any time of the day here, you’ll be planning your trip a week in advance!
For those looking for an active lifestyle that makes the most of Cornwall’s world-famous coastline, then there are plenty of places to choose from. Many coastal towns have close knit communities and groups of local surfers who know the best spots to catch some waves. Choosing a coastal area doesn’t mean you can’t also have a smallholding lifestyle, there’s plenty of rural areas which are just a short drive from the best beaches in the world.

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

5 things you should be doing on your smallholding in October

5 things you should be doing on your smallholding in October

Farming and agriculture

Having a smallholding is 24/7, 365-days a year job, and so there’s always something to be done no matter what time of the year it is. If you’re thinking of making the big move, or are about to embark on the exciting journey of having your own smallholding, you may be wondering what you would be doing right now.

In reality you might be sat on the sofa in your pyjamas, or sat at a desk looking at spreadsheets, but for now we’ll imagine that you’re out on your smallholding. You’ve got your wellies on, your hands are covered in mud, and there’s a big smile on your face as you carry out your October jobs…

Picking the last vegetables

Your smallholding is home to some delicious fresh vegetables, but unfortunately we’re now coming towards the end of the harvest so it’s time to get those final spuds, beans, and courgettes picked and brought inside. You can store these vegetables and pop them into your winter stew, perfect for when the colder weather sets in.

Bringing delicate plants inside

Your herbs and other delicate plants have been thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, but soon the frost will set in and they will really suffer. Now is the ideal time to bring in those plants that won’t survive the cold. The inside warmth will keep the plants happy, healthy, and thriving.

Start planting

You may have just finished picking those broad beans and peas, and now is the time to put some seeds back in the ground! Planting vegetables such as onions, spinach, peas, and broad beans in October means that you will have lovely produce ready in the spring. Vegetables take time to grow, so getting them in now is necessary.

Check your outbuildings

October isn’t too bad for weather, but we all know that strong winds, heavy rain, and even some ice and snow will soon fall upon your smallholding. The winter months is the most likely time for damage; broken fences and fallen roof tiles are just some of the problems you may face. Give every fence panel and post a thorough check, and get on a ladder and take a look at the roof of your outbuilding.

Start moving livestock

Your animals have probably had a great summer outside, but from October onwards you should start moving your animals indoors. As the ground gets wetter, and the temperature drops it’s vital to keep livestock warm and dry. You’ll also need to start getting in plenty of bedding and food to keep them going over winter. Oh, and be prepared for lots of mucking out!

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

7 things you won’t find in the city

7 things you won’t find in the city

West Country Life

It comes as no surprise that there are some big differences between cities and the countryside. Your faithful tube-line gets replaced with bi-daily buses and your busy office becomes a field filled with goats; it can sometimes feel like a completely different world.

For those used to large, busy cities, a move to the West Country can seem quite daunting. But believe us when we say it is worth it. There are so many amazing things that just don’t exist in the smoggy city, things that you can only get down in the southern countryside. Here are just a few of those things to get you excited for your big move.

1. Wild ponies

We highly doubt you’ve been walking through an urban landscape and seen a wild pony, but you can do just that in the countryside. The Dartmoor Pony is a special breed that can be found on the rocky moors, and they’re hardy creatures. Specially adapted to deal with extreme weather conditions, these ponies can easily be spotted wandering around Dartmoor but please do note that it is illegal for members of the public to feed them!

2. World class beaches

Sennen Cove was named one of the best beaches in the world for surfing, and Pedn Vounder has been called the 27th best beach in the world. So believe us when we say that there are some great beaches down here! If you’re looking at Devon, then try out Saunton Sands and Blackpool Sands which were named the fourth and fifth (respectively) best beaches in the UK!

3. Ice cream, fresh ice cream

Everyone loves ice cream, and we know you can get it in the city, but have you ever eaten ice cream next to the cow who produced the milk for it? We thought not. At Orange Elephant Ice Cream near Exeter, you can enjoy a tasty treat and meet the cows. Alternatively, take a trip to Callestick Farm and try their amazing homemade ice cream and visit the farm.

4. A good view of the stars

In cities, the night sky is often obscured by light pollution. Street lamps, lights from buildings, and traffic all disguise the stars and you rarely get to see the night sky in all its glory. It isn’t like that in the West Country. The low light pollution means that almost every night you get front row seats to the universe, and it is truly breath taking. You can even have an extra special night by viewing them from the moors.

5. Fitness in the fresh air

No one likes to spend hours in a busy, hot, smelly gym in an effort to get fit so moving to the South West gives you the perfect opportunity to ditch that overpriced gym membership. The clear air makes exercising outside a delight, and there are plenty of walking and cycling routes for the whole family to enjoy.

6. A closer connection to your food

When a farm is a hundred miles away you get used to eating food out of packaging and having no idea where it comes from. Many city dwellers have a real detachment from the reality of what they’re eating, but that all changes when you get to Devon and Cornwall. Shopping locally is encouraged here, and you’ll often find yourself chatting about the produce with the farmer who grew it.

7. People who talk to each other

This can be a little strange at first, particularly when you’re used to sitting in silence next to strangers every day, but the people of the West Country love a good natter. Even if you’ve never met them before, you can be sure that you’ll receive a friendly “good morning/afternoon” and most likely a comment about the weather. Before you know it you’ll be starting conversations with strangers yourself!

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

The best farmer’s markets in the South West

The best farmer’s markets in the South West

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

There’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a farmer’s market in the West Country. Seeing the beautiful fresh produce all laid out, smelling the fantastic treats, and even tasting some of them too! These things make a farmer’s market extra special, and way better than any trip to a supermarket!

By paying a trip to your local market, you’re not only getting great food for you and your family, you’re also supporting your community. After a few trips you’ll find yourself nattering away with other locals, and you’ll start to understand what is and isn’t available at different times.

At most farmer’s markets, you’ll discover a huge selection of local produce. From vegetables to cakes, bread to meat, there’s plenty for you to try and buy. Feeling excited? We haven’t even mentioned the cheeses available!

These friendly markets are becoming an increasingly large part of West Country life. In Cornwall alone there has been a 30% increase in people shopping at local farmer’s markets, with visitor numbers averaging 1,500 at some markets.

So no matter if you’re going to be exhibiting your own wares, or just embracing West Country culture, here’s our top five farmer’s markets in Devon and Cornwall for you to sample.

Truro Market

This hustling, bustling market reveals the grassroots of Cornwall’s culinary world. Enjoy smoked fish, preserves, bread, and more at this popular market.
Lemon Quay, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am-4pm
http://www.trurofarmers.co.uk/

Ashburton Farmer’s Market

Enjoy a daily dose of farmer’s market happiness at this fabulous market. A vast array of local produce will keep you coming back for more.
Tuckers Yard, Tuesday-Saturday

St Ives Farmer’s Market

If you want great seasonal produce, then this is the place for you! This regular market was created as a community venture aiming to make fresh local produce available to everyone.
The Guildhall, Thursdays, 9.30am-2pm
http://www.stivesfarmersmarket.co.uk/

Exeter Farmer’s Market

If you want a perfect combination of city and countryside, then check out the market in Exeter. It’s a vibrant market with a huge range of produce.
Corner of Fore Street & South Street, Thursdays, 9am-2pm
https://exeter.gov.uk/people-and-communities/facilities-and-events/markets/farmers-market/

Tavistock Farmer’s Market

Described as a “treasure trove”, Tavistock is without a doubt one of the most popular markets in the area. They’re even working towards more gluten free products!
Bedford Square, second/fourth/fifth Saturday of the month,
http://www.tavistockfarmersmarket.com/index.php

Considering a move to the West Country to set up your own smallholding or farm? Here at West Country Dream we can help you find your perfect property. Find out more here or call Helen on 07816 514667.

Some of the best farm shops the South West has to offer

Some of the best farm shops the South West has to offer

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

The West Country is filled to the brim with culinary delights. There are so many amazing foods and dishes to try, it can almost be overwhelming! As well as many wonderful restaurants, there is plenty of perfect produce for you to try.

Across the South West there are some truly brilliant farm shops. When you make the move, you’ll find that the veg tastes that bit fresher, the meat that bit more succulent, and the fruit that bit sweeter. Wherever you go you’ll find a farm shop to get your weekly produce from, but we’ve made things a bit easier for you and compiled a list of our top 7 farm shops in the South West.

Lobbs Farm Shop

This delightful Cornish business in St Austell is a family affair. Brothers Terry, Ian, and Richard directly supply the shop with beef, lamb, and fresh vegetables.
Their animals are born and raised on the farm, feeding on traditional pastures and meadows.

Our favourite: Try the award-winning pork with cracked black pepper sausages. You won’t regret it!

http://www.lobbsfarmshop.com/default.asp

Lifton Farm Shop

From a small produce barrow outside a family home to an impressive shop – it’s hard to deny that Lifton Farm Shop has grown at an impressive rate over the past 20 years! The shelves are filled with homemade chutneys, ice cream, and juices, not to mention that fantastic butchery. You can even get married there!

Our favourite: Embrace your inner Devonian and try a steak pasty.

http://www.liftonfarmshop.co.uk/

White Row Farm

The goal of this Somerset shop is to be the producer of as much as what is sold as possible. To this day, that goal remains at the heart of their ethos. They also sell as much local produce in a bid to support other farmers in the area.

White Row Farm also has a play park, café, and gift shop!

Our favourite: The locally produced ice-cream is a sure winner on hot and sunny days.

http://whiterowfarm.co.uk/

Darts Farm

It would probably be easier to tell you what isn’t in this impressive farm shop! Darts Farm were most recently awarded UK Large Farm Shop of the Year in the Farm Shop and Deli Awards, and they won that for a reason.

Staff collect seasonal produce fresh from the fields every day, and they have done for the past 40 years. They also use this produce in their restaurant – yum!

Our favourite: Their Luxury Westcountry Hamper is packed full of amazing local treats.

http://www.dartsfarm.co.uk/index.php

Boscastle Farm Shop

If you want the full farm experience, then you’ve got to visit this shop. Set amongst National Trust Farmland and just 50 yards from the coastal path, Boscastle Farm Shop is an absolute country vision. Famed for homemade burgers, sausages and cakes, this is the place to go for foodie treats.

Our favourite: The homemade Rolo cheesecake catches the attention of our sweet tooth every time!

http://www.boscastlefarmshop.co.uk/

Greendale Farm Shop

If you’ve been to Devon, you’re likely to have heard the name Greendale. Famous for their exceptional meat, poultry, and seafood, Greendale wins awards year after year. The family have been farming in the area for more than five generations, and the knowledge learnt over the years has been passed down.

Our favourite: The brunch taster selection box provides everything you need to create a delicious brunch.

https://www.greendalefarmshop.co.uk/

Washingpool Farm

Winner of a Gold Taste Of the West award, this Dorset farm shop sources a huge range of products from the surrounding county. From their own meat and vegetables, to ready meals, soups, and cakes. There’s so much to choose from! In total there are over 100 suppliers from the South West stocked here.

Our favourite: Try the raisin and coriander sourdough by The Wobbly Cottage will make your bread-dreams come true.

http://www.washingpool.co.uk/

Wanting to set up your own farm with potential to selling homemade produce onsite? West Country Dream can help find your perfect property with our Land and Property Search Service. For more information give Helen a call on on 07816 514667 or complete our enquiry form here.

What matters more, the land or the property?

What matters more, the land or the property?

Buying property with land West Country Properties

If buying a house isn’t hard enough, buying a smallholding or farm can be even more daunting when it comes to knowing what you want.

You’ll no doubt have already pictured the type of property you’d like to live in and the land that comes with it, but which is more important?

Here’s a few key points to help you decide…

Land

Keeping livestock? Growing produce? No matter what it is you’re going to be doing on your smallholding if high quality land is needed to make it a success then this should be at the very top of your priority list.

This is particularly important if the land is going to be your main source of income going forward. Many families and couples will move to the South West and maintain other sources of income in a trade in which they’re already operating. If this isn’t you then the last thing you want is to be uprooting later down the line due to poor ground conditions having ended up in what you wanted to be the forever-home with the wrong land.

Remember, in many places across the Westcountry, you’ll have to pay a premium for land; make sure you work out how much you need to make your venture a reality. Just like buying a house, you don’t want to end up lumbered with a five bedroom property when there’s only two of you!

Space

Seeking a better life for your family in the countryside? Perhaps you’re hoping to start your own family later down the line? Having said that the land you buy is important, we also understand that no matter what your circumstances, you’re wanting to call this home, not just now but in the future. Weigh up where you’d like to be further down the line and address this in the amount of space you move into.

Property

From large, five-bedroom detached farmhouses to smaller three-bedroom bungalows, smallholdings can come in all shapes and sizes.

Ultimately the type of property will depend on your budget, the purpose of the farm/smallholding and the amount of space you need. If you’re hoping to buy a smallholding to run alongside your day job, then the likelihood is the property will be more important than the land. Equally, if the land is a priority then your focus may be less so on the property.

So where do your priorities lay? Have you discussed them?

Price

The price you pay for a property will also be affected by the location. For example, a four-bedroom house with 32 acres of pastureland near Dartmoor will set you back in the region of half a million, whilst a four-bedroom property with 10 acres of land and sea views in Cornwall will leave you with little change out of £1million.

Decide what is more important to you, both in the short and long term, before signing on the dotted line.

The best of both worlds

More land, smaller property? Larger property, less land? Why compromise, when you could have both?

Here at West Country Dream we can find your perfect property with our Land and Property Search service. For more information, call Helen on 07816 514667 or complete our enquiry form here.

Getting the right land for your smallholding

Getting the right land for your smallholding

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture

No matter the size of the smallholding you’re looking to buy in the South West, choosing a property that has suitable land is essential to ensuring your farm and rural dream has the best possible start to life.

We take a look at why you should always bear in mind what it is you want to do on the land and whether the land you’re viewing is completely suited to allowing you to do it.

Purpose

Whilst property may all be about ‘location, location, location’, if you’re buying a smallholding or farm then there’s an added layer of complexity and it comes in the form of terra firma. Coastal areas will have completely different soil qualities to the foothills of the moors, and soil conditions can sometimes differ significantly within a 20-mile radius of a location.

The start of every search should always begin with what you want to do with the land; you’ll not only focus your mind on how much land you’ll need, you’ll also be steered toward the areas most suited to fulfill your dreams.

Acreage

You know what you want to do, so you should know how much you need. Or that’s the logic anyway!

When it comes to acreage, budget and availability may also come into play.

Land prices across the country have stayed relatively stable in recent years, and in the medium to long term have seen a decent rise in value across the board.

It may therefore be tempting to dive in for lower quality land to get more for your money. If you’re thinking about doing this then make sure that your productivity is going to be as high as it would be with a smaller acreage of higher quality land, and indeed that this lower quality land is still suited to your purpose.

Whilst sheep may be happy to graze on such land, it’s probably not going to cut the mustard if you’re looking to grow crops and alike.

Soil

If you’re planning to grow crops, fruit or vegetables, you’ll want soil that’s relatively fertile and can be easily cultivated. Although there’s no easy way of determining the perfect soil for your smallholding, soil testing is commonly used to work out the acidity level of fields and which fertilisers will be needed.

Testing kits can be bought from most agricultural stores, so there’s no need to get the men in white coats out to do it!

If you’re new to the agricultural world then following in the footsteps of the current land usage is a good way of ensuring you know exactly what you’re getting!

Drainage

If you’re wanting to grow crops or keep a large dairy heard, you’ll need land that’s relatively dry with good drainage. Although the South West is made up of wet clay loam, the majority of smallholdings will have drainage techniques in place to manage surface run off.

Poor farmland drainage and soil levels can influence the yields you get from both crops and cattle and the last thing you want, is to be stuck in a muddy bog!

Remember there’s something for everyone!

Devon and Cornwall is home to land of varying levels, from the rolling hills of Dartmoor and Exmoor to rugged the North Cornish cliff lines, with low lying patches in between.

Whether you plan to keep a few hill sheep or need a paddock for ponies, thanks to the South West’s variety of terrain, it allows all types of farming to take place; great news if you’re looking at smallholdings in the West Country.

Searching for a smallholding?

If you’re looking to buy a smallholding in Devon or Cornwall and want a stress-free solution, West Country Dream can carry out a land and property search on your behalf.

For more information email Helen at Helen@westcountrydream.co.uk or call her on 07816 514667.

Government grants and payments available to smallholders and farmers

Government grants and payments available to smallholders and farmers

Farming and agriculture

If you’re not familiar with farming, buying a smallholding can be a daunting experience. For that reason, knowing whom to call on for advice when things go wrong, or where to seek financial expertise in a time of need are questions that you will no doubt ask yourself at some stage.

But help is available and this includes Government support with grants and payments. We take a look at some of the options that are available to smallholders and farmers

Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

If you don’t know about it, you’ve probably heard about it; the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the biggest rural grants and payments scheme in the European Union.

The scheme was formed as part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which the European Commission describes as a ‘partnership between Europe and its farmers’.

It consists of agricultural subsidies and programmes such as the BPS.

The BPS provides support for farmers and smallholders by supplementing the income from their business.

Who can apply?

If you’re a smallholder or farmer you can apply as long as you meet the requirements laid out.

This includes being an ‘active farmer’ with at least 5 hectares (12.3 acres) of land that is used for an agricultural activity.

For more detailed information about whether your farm or smallholding meets the entry requirements please visit
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/505559/BPS_2016_scheme_rules_FINAL__DS_.pdf

How to apply?

For the first time this year farmers were given the option to apply online in addition to the paper form.

Applications for next year can be made through the Rural Payments Service or using a BP5 application form.

Further information

To find out more about the BPS scheme visit the Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/start-your-2016-basic-payment-scheme-application-now

Rural Development Programme

The Rural Development Programme is another scheme that stems from the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is part of the UK National Rural Network, which links all development programmes across Europe.

It aims to make England’s agriculture and forestry sectors more competitive by providing farmers with support, tools and grants.

LEADER funding

LEADER funding falls under the RDPE and provides opportunities for farmers to access grants for their business.

Funding is distributed by Local Action Groups, which determine suitable projects.

Projects must support one or more of the 6 LEADER priorities:

• Increase farm productivity
• Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
• Provide rural services
• Boost rural tourism
• Increase forestry productivity
• Provide cultural and heritage activities

How to apply

To find out what funding is available in your area and how to apply, contact your Local Action Group.

There are 10 across the South West; to see which one you fall into and their contact details visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448033/Map_approved_LEADER_2014-2020.pdf (map) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/511271/list_of_LAGs_ver_11__March_2016_.pdf (contact details)

More information

To find out more about the LEADER funding programme visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rural-development-programme-for-england-leader-funding

Other types of grants

If your farm or smallholding promotes sustainability or practices environmental techniques, there may be other types of funding within the RDPE that apply to you.

Do your research to ensure you’re not missing out on any grants that you could benefit from.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/topic/farming-food-grants-payments/rural-grants-payments for more information.

Further advice

For more technical advice we thoroughly recommend visiting the Government website, which has a wealth of information.

You can find out more through the links above.

Our farming and smallholder courses

Want to learn more about becoming a smallholder or farmer? Our Devon-based courses and workshops provide information about being a farmer/ land-owner.

Visit our courses page or give Helen a call on 07816 514667.