Entrepreneurial tenants are being sought to take on eight Cambridgeshire County Council farms.
More than 1,500 acres of the council’s 33,000-acre portfolio will be launched for tender this week – ranging from starter farms to root-cropping operations.
Successful applicants will be offered five-year farm business tenancies.
Anna Hicks, surveyor at the authority, said it was a valuable opportunity for first-time farmers and those looking to progress to larger holdings and she anticipated high interest.
The retirement of existing tenants accounts for some of the farms becoming available, while other vacancies have been created by tenants moving to bigger units.
Will Veal, a current tenant who has moved to a larger unit, said: “If you are prepared to work hard and commit to it then you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.”
Viewings for the seven tenancies are being held on Wednesday 15 February with business plans from applicants due by Friday 10 March.
See where the farms are on the map below and the full details underneath.
- Landbeach, six miles north of Cambridge.
- Ring-fenced holding of 489 acres with Grade 2 and Grade 3 lime-rich, clay soils. Been cropped to wheat, barley and oilseed rape and has 500t of modern grain storage, plus three 100t silos. Includes general purpose building and house.
- About 294 acres of Grade 2 and 3 arable land plus two buildings and three-bedroom house. Used for oilseed rape, wheat, barley and sugar beet.
- Warboys, 12 miles north-east of Huntingdon.
- About 261 acres of Grade 1 black clay soils, capable of growing root crops. Has produced wheat, peas and sugar beet. Includes four general-purpose buildings – largest is 14m by 8m with a 5m lean to on either side. Includes a bungalow.
- Farcet, four miles south of Peterborough.
- A 243-acre holding of predominantly peaty Grade 2 soils with a two-bedroom house and buildings. Been cropped to peas, wheat, sugar beet and potatoes. Includes four general-purpose buildings (624sq m) plus open-fronted machinery shed.
Wolvey Holes Farm
- Coveney, five miles west of Ely.
- Has an area of woodland offering diversification potential, plus root crop capable land.
- About 148 acres of Grade 2 soils – used to grow oilseed rape, barley, beans and potatoes. Has two general-purpose buildings and a bungalow.
Fen Bridge Farm
- Cottenham, eight miles north of Cambridge.
- A 89-acre starter holding with two general purpose buildings and livestock pens.
- Predominately arable but has been used for livestock in the past and recent cropping includes wheat and sugar beet. Includes a three-bedroom house.
Flaggrass Hill Farm
- North-east fringe of March.
- A starter holding of about 83 acres of Grade 1 clay with two buildings, including 300t of grain storage. Wheat, oilseed rape, beans and sugar beet grown in recent rotation, but land is capable of producing other root crops. Has a machinery store and workshop, but no house.
- Girton, at the northern end of Cambridge.
- A smallholding of eight acres of Grade 3 permanent pasture with a three-bedroom house. Farm is a single field with livestock fencing and mature hedgeline. About an acre set aside for environmental purposes.