The East Midlands selling season is starting early this year with Melton Mowbray firm Shoulers launching three properties in Leics and Lincs.

Two of the sales were due to farmers giving up milk production, said the firm’s Martin Shouler.

“A lot of dairy farmers have got to the stage where the job is very difficult.

We’re in a fairly heavy milking area here, but it is the Stilton that is keeping it going.”

Holly Tree Farm, which includes a four-bed farmhouse, is right next to Long Clawson Dairy, the UK’s largest Stilton producer, and was purpose-built as a 200-cow dairy unit 10 years ago, said Mr Shouler.

Despite the problems facing the dairy industry, he reckoned the 320-acre unit, which he has guided at 1.5m, would sell to a specialist dairy producer.

“There are people looking to move out of the worst-affected TB areas.

“Since we advertised the farm the phone has been red-hot from farmers in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Carlisle.”

Mr Shouler said one of the reasons for launching Holly Tree Farm so early was to try to strike a deal before the last date for transferring single farm payment entitlements this year.

Just over the Lincs border at Authorpe Farm, Long Bennington, 149 acres are being sold by another business that is quitting milk.

Three houses are being retained and the land has been lotted four ways at 3000/acre.

The Coppice at Queniborough, a 220-acre arable unit near Leicester guided at 1.3m, offered some interesting extra income, said Mr Shouler.

“The owner does not live there and has converted the house into 12 flats and apartments.”

These produced a rental of 27,000 a year, he added.

Neighbouring Notts is also off the mark with the sale of 440 acres of land at Halam, near Southwell, by Newark agent Alasdair Morrison & Partners.

The land is a mixture of Grade 2 and 3 soil and, including grain storage, is guided at 1.25m.

A retained farming opportunity is preferred by the vendor.

andrew.shirley@rbi.co.uk