A large Northumberland livestock unit is for sale after the closure of an ADAS research centre.

The 2447-acre Evistones Estate, near Otterburn, is home to the organisation’s Redesdale research farm, but this is to shut in March 2007 due to a lack of funds.

Commercial director Colin Speller said: “We have been given the opportunity of a lease-break.”

Claire Mallen, of selling agent Strutt & Parker, said the James family, which had owned the estate for six generations, had decided it was impractical to take the farm back in-hand after the notice to quit and had decided to sell.

This meant commercial stock farmers had the chance to buy a farm with some of the best facilities in the area, said Miss Mallen.

“The land has been significantly improved for grazing and there are masses of very well-maintained buildings.

It’s every farmer’s dream.”

There are 1930 acres of upland and hill grazing and 330 acres of productive in-bye grassland.

Also included in the £3.75m asking price are a refurbished seven-bedroom sporting lodge (available separately with almost 50 acres for £1.2m), a large farmhouse, three cottages and two modern farmsteads.

ADAS owns the single farm payment entitlements, which totalled about £72,000 in 2005 and are available by negotiation.

About 1300 hefted sheep come with the estate and will be valued separately.

Miss Mallen said there was also likely to be demand from people interested in Evistones’ sporting potential.

No gamekeeper had been employed on the estate for years, but she reckoned it would not be difficult to set up an excellent low-ground shoot.

Grouse were also an option, although this would require more work, she added.

“I’m expecting a significant amount of interest.

Things like this don’t often come up for sale in Northumberland.”

andrew.shirley@rbi.co.uk