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.

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.

A guide to farming’s national open day — Open Farm Sunday

A guide to farming’s national open day — Open Farm Sunday

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

Smallholder or farmer in the West Country looking to raise the profile of what you do and share your farming story? Every year hundreds of farmers across Great Britain break their usual routine to open their gates to the public as part of Open Farm Sunday.

What is ‘Open Farm Sunday’ we hear you ask?

Here’s a handy guide to one of the industry’s ‘biggest success stories’…

About farming’s biggest public event

Open Farm Sunday was set up by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) over ten years ago as part of an initiative to build a better public understanding of food and farming.

Since the first open day was held in 2006, millions of people have visited farms across Great Britain.

This year marks its 11th event, when farmers will once again open their gates to the public for one day only, giving them a unique glimpse of life on a farm.

When is it?

This year’s Open Farm event takes place on Sunday, 5th June 2016.

Last year, more than 250,000 people visited 389 farms and LEAF is attempting to top this by incorporating a theme, which will be ‘Discover the World of Farming’, encouraging all types of farms to get involved.

Why should you take part?

Whether you run a smallholding producing fruit and veg or a large dairy farm, the event is open to all types of farming.

By opening your gates to the public, you’re helping people have a better understanding of the industry and hard work that goes into it.

Not only that, it’s a great form of promotion, especially if you plan to sell any of your homemade products!

If you’re looking at buying a farm or smallholding in the West Country, why not go along to an event to see how you could take part in the future?

Some 200 farms and smallholdings have already registered this year, with a large number of these in the West Country.

How do I get involved?

You can decide whether to host an invite-only event or open your farm up to the public. Registration is free and there’s still time to take part this June.

For more information about registering follow this link https://farmsunday.org/

Ideas for things to do on your farm

According to LEAF, one in five visitors to Open Farm Sunday have never visited a farm, so what might seem like the ‘norm’ to you, will be a completely different experience for those who visit your farm.

Whether it’s a small-scale invite-only event or a larger open day, here are a few things you could do on your Open Farm Sunday:

Tours — Take visitors on a walking tour of your smallholding or farm; not only does this allow them to see it, it also gives you peace of mind that they are familiar with the areas they can explore, and don’t go wandering off!

Demonstrations — Demonstrations such as milking, shearing, harvesting, or crop production are great ways of showing your farm in action.

Workshops — Nearby farmers also attend Open Farm Sundays so why not invite local experts to hold workshops. Consider teaming up with your vet to arrange a demonstration/workshop.

Talks — Holding talks during slots throughout the day allows you to allocate time elsewhere and ensures visitors know what’s happening and when.

Machinery displays — Machinery dealers are often looking for the chance to showcase their latest range. Not only does it provide good promotion for them, it gives visitors an insight into equipment and tools used on your smallholding/farm.

Further information

Free resources and more information are available from the Open Farm Sunday website.

If you’re searching for your own smallholding or farm in Devon or Cornwall, get in touch with West Country Dream on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

5 reasons why farming in the West Country is amongst the best places in the UK

5 reasons why farming in the West Country is amongst the best places in the UK

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

Making your first steps in the farming world, but unsure whereabouts in the UK you should settle?

Whether you’re looking to keep a small flock of sheep on a smallholding or start up a dairy herd on a larger farm, begin and end your search in the West Country — one of the best places in the UK!

What makes the West Country one of the best we hear you ask?

Here at West Country Dream we have the answers!

Mild climate

If you’re planning to keep livestock and cultivate crops, you’ll want land that is dry for most of the year around (well as much as that is possible in our temperate climate!).

Being so close to the sea, the South West has the highest average temperature of any other area located near the sea. As a result, the chances of snow during winter months are very low, which is great news if you plan to keep livestock outside for most of the year around.

The West Country’s warm summers also mean crops can be harvested as late as October, while the ground is still dry.

Tourism opportunities

The West Country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, with more than 34 million visits made over the last year.

This is not only beneficial to those who have, or are looking to diversify into tourist accommodation. Setting up a smallholding with plans to sell your own produce via a farm shop? You’ll also benefit from the mass influx of tourists during the summer months.

Land prices

More and more people want their very own slice of the countryside and this has seen the value of farmland rise remarkably over the last ten years, but things are on the change….

The price of livestock and arable land in the West Country remains competitive, but still cheaper than other areas of the UK, including the bordering regions of the West Midlands and South East.

Land experts are also predicting prices will stabilise over the next year so now could be the opportune time to start looking for your very own West Country dream!

Low crime rates

No matter where you choose to live you’ll want to be at ease knowing you and your family are in a safe environment so you’ll be pleased to hear that according to Government statistics crime levels in the South West are amongst the lowest in England!

Award winning beaches

At the end of a busy day on the farm, why not escape to some of the UK’s top rated beaches? The West Country is home to Devon and Cornwall’s many award-winning beaches, as highly recommended by Trip Advisor and National Geographic. These include Carne Beach near Truro (National Geographic), Woolacombe Beach, North Devon (Trip Advisor), Porthminster Beach near St Ives and the well-known Fistral Beach in Newquay.

If you’re looking for a balanced quality of life, the West Country is the place to be.

Find your West Country Dream

Want your very own slice of the West Country? Let us do the searching for your perfect farm or smallholding, while you spend your time exploring the beautiful beaches nearby.

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

New year, new start in the West Country?

New year, new start in the West Country?

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

Whether you’re considering buying a farm or a smallholding, a common question that frequently crops up is ‘when is the best time to invest’?

With a new year, often comes a new start and here at West Country Dream we’ve been taking a look at why 2016 is the best time to invest in property in Devon and Cornwall.

Stamp duty tax on second homes

Looking at buying a smallholding or farm in the South West, but don’t want to part from your beloved home in the city?

Time is of the essence if you want to buy a second home or buy-to-let property without paying additional Stamp Duty taxes.

Last November the Government announced a new 3% surcharge will apply to each stamp duty band on any additional properties costing more than £40,000. The new rate comes into effect from April and will impact all second home or buy-to-let properties.

Therefore, if you’re considering buying a farm or smallholding this year, as the adage goes; there’s no time like the present, so buy now to save yourself thousands of pounds on extra taxes!

Take a look at the table below for a full break down on the tax rate increase:

Property value

Standard rate

Second home rate (April 2016)

Up to £125,000

0%

3%

£125 – £250,000

2%

5%

£250,000 – £925,000

5%

8%

£925,000 to £1.5m

10%

13%

Over £1.5m

12%

15%

Land prices

Over the years more and more people have realised the benefits of owning a farm or smallholding. From leading a healthier lifestyle to being your own boss, the hike in farm purchases has been reflected in the price of land, which has been climbing since 2005.

In particular, farmland has increased dramatically over the last five years, with figures showing a 52.8% surge in the price per acre from 2010 to 2015! The increase has been good news for people who own land, doubling or in some cases tripling the value of their farms, but it has meant higher prices for those looking to buy.

However, there are signs that prices will begin to stabilise over the next year, making it a prime time to buy that perfect property in the West Country!

Swap that city house for a smallholding in the country

Always dreamed of a fresh start in the country, where your children can play outdoors freely in the security of your own large garden? If the answer is yes, now’s the time to swap that city house for a safe-haven in the West Country.

If there’s one region where prices are guaranteed to increase, it’s London, and if you’re raising a family in the city, the chances are they will struggle to get on the property ladder. Extend your search to the South West and you increase the selection of properties available for the same amount in the city.

For a three bedroom terraced property on the outskirts of London priced at £600,000, you can buy a six bedroom detached property with five acres of land, outbuildings and stunning views in the heart of West Devon.

Looking for a view of the sea? A four-bedroom house on the seafront at Rock in Cornwall will easily set you back in excess of £2 million, but expand your search to just 13 miles up the coast to Tintagel and you could snap up a six bedroom house with outbuildings for less than £500,000!

We can help you find your West Country Dream!

Wanting to take that leap from city life to live a more laid-back lifestyle in the countryside or start-up a smallholding?

Now is the time to sit down and consider where you want to live, what type of property you want, what you want it for and more importantly, how much do you have to spend?

Having difficulty finding time to plan? Let West Country Dream do it for you. Get in touch with West Country Dream on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

Hotspots for property investment in Devon 2015/2016

Hotspots for property investment in Devon 2015/2016

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

With Devon officially the best place to live in England [Country Life Magazine] and its population set to rise by two million over the course of the next 10 years, more people than ever are escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for a life in the country.

But with so many great places in Devon, the big question is where should you settle? We’ve taken a look at five popular places for people wanting to relocate to Devon with their family.

Dartmoor and southern Devon

Searching for a secluded smallholding that can still boast easy access to civilisation? Look no further than the rugged and rolling hills of Dartmoor. The national park is at the heart of Devon and boasts some of the most spectacular views and walks in the county.

Quaint towns like Chagford and Moretonhampstead on the northern edge of the park have direct access to the A30 whilst if you look further South, the market town of Buckfastleigh sits beside the A30.

The English Riviera, Torbay

Wanting to escape city life for a farm or smallholding by the sea? The English Riviera includes the coastal towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

With beautiful bays and long stretches of sand it’s a popular place with tourists, but patches of land and smallholdings for sale are often popping up in the surrounding villages.

Education plays a huge part of any move with children, so you’ll also be pleased to know the area boasts a strong education system, with nine secondary schools in Torbay and good road and rail links to the university cities of Plymouth and Exeter.

Tamar Valley, West Devon

Not sure whether to plump for Devon or Cornwall? Why not settle somewhere near the border? The Tamar Valley offers the best of both sides, stretching across 24 parishes from Bodmin Moor to Dartmoor along the Devon/Cornwall border.

The valley is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so no clues why people love this part of Devon! No matter how tucked away you are, farms and smallholdings have great access to main trunk roads and larger towns such as Tavistock and Plymouth; ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ is only a short drive away.

Barnstaple, North Devon

Further north is the market town of Barnstaple, a stones throw from some of the region’s finest beaches. You’ll also find Exmoor National Park just a 30-minute journey to the east; giving you plenty of options for things to do with the family!

Alongside the tourist hotspots, farming is a main contributor to the North Devon economy, with smallholdings and farms for sale in many of the surrounding villages.

Okehampton, West Devon

Always wanted to exchange that city home for a place where your children can roam safely outdoors? Known as the ‘walking centre of Devon’, Okehampton is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and also boasts cycle trails and bridleways. It’s even got its own castle!

Planning to commute to work everyday? The town adjoins the A30, providing direct access to the city of Exeter, which is a convenient 30-minute journey by car, as are most other places from Okehampton!

If you’re looking at moving to Devon, whether to find the perfect family home or to buy property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream at www.westcountrydream.com

Top 10 reasons to relocate to the South West

Top 10 reasons to relocate to the South West

West Country Life

Are you considering a fresh start? What better place to choose than the West Country, and thousands will agree… Between 2003 and 2008 the region’s population grew faster than the whole of the UK’s.
So why is the demand to live in Devon and Cornwall so high? We’ve let the facts speak for themselves and highlighted ten reasons you should consider the West Country Dream.

Health

Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle? The South West has some of the lowest levels of air pollution in the UK; on average pollution in the London area is four times higher than Exeter, one of the South West’s most popular city’s. Wanting to live a long life? The South West also has the highest regional life expectancy at birth for women, and second highest for men.

Beaches

Many young families consider relocating to the South West each year. If you’re looking for a balanced quality of life on a smallholding or farm, you’re heading to the right part of the world. According to Trip Advisor’s latest list of top ten UK beaches, four of them are in the West Country and one of those is also included in Trip Advisor’s 25 world’s best beaches. It’s Woolacombe, in case you were wondering!

Commute time

Many families and couples who relocate to a smallholding in the South West will also have a second job or occupation, and for those people, we have some great news; the West Country has the shortest average commute in the country. According to the latest National Survey Travel, workers spend around 56 hours a year commuting. That may seem like a lot of your time, but compared to other areas in the country, it’s the best place to live if you’re looking to get home before nightfall!

Crime levels

Everyone wants to to live in an area in which they feel at ease knowing their children can grow up in a safe environment. Crime rates in the South West are among the lowest in England.
According to Government statistics, household crime levels in the South West are 16% lower than the national average!

Food and drink

If you’re planning on using farmland to grow or sell your own produce you’ll be joining some of the best in the country, and the world! From Cornish clotted cream to West Country lamb and beef — the South West has some of the finest food and drink around.

Things to do and see

When you’re not enjoying the fresh air owning your own land will provide you with, the West Country has plenty to offer any fan of the outdoors. More than a quarter of the region is designated National Park, and well, we’ve already mentioned those beaches haven’t we!

Education

If you have school-aged children, education is going to play a huge factor in your decision to relocate.. 85% of schools in Devon are considered to be ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, and once they’ve finished their schooldays, some of the country’s best universities are located in the South West, including Exeter University, which has recently been ranked in the Times’ world top 100.

Employment

Worried about finding a job when you move? Have no fear! Among UK regions, the South West has higher than average rates of employment and one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Land prices

If you’re looking to the West Country to continue farming or take your first step in the industry, you’ll be pleased to know that land prices remain stable and are set to rise in coming years which means your investment won’t be susceptible to a fluctuating market.

Tourism

Many landowners diversify into the tourism marketplace; the South West has the highest number of seasonal visitors than any other UK region or country, which is great news if you’re setting up or moving a business to the South West!

Do you need help?

Most of the points above come down to research, and simply knowing the lay of the local land. This is where we aim to help those relocating. We have the knowledge of the local area, we understand agriculture, and we’ve also done it ourselves. We’re here to help you make sure that your dream move becomes a reality.

For more information on how West Country Dream can help you realise your dream of moving to a smallholding, farm or property with land in the South West of England please take a look around our site or call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667.