The land market is picking up after a slow start to the year with the Farmers Weekly Land Tracker showing 14% more availability than during the same period in 2005.

So far, just over 23,000 acres have been advertised in the magazine and one of the newest sizeable launches is 642-acre Littlepuddle Farm at Piddlehinton, near Dorchester, which is being sold by Richard Miller of Dorset specialist Symonds & Sampson.

“These size farms come up very rarely in the county, the last one of this size would have been two years ago,” said Mr Miller.

Although the farm could be bought as a whole, there is no large house and Mr Miller said it could be split to form two separate units.

Littlepuddle Dairy Farm comes with 223 acres of land, a two-bedroom cottage and three-bedroom farm bungalow as well as a 200-cow milk unit that was last used five years ago.

The price is £1.35m.

“It has got enough accommodation for workers and there is another 70 acres available (£230,000) that would make it into a viable dairy unit,” he said.

Holcombe Barn Farm, guided at £1.15m, comes with 344 acres of mostly arable land and could appeal to somebody wanting to create a new holding in a lovely part of Dorset, Mr Miller said.

“There is a nucleus of farm buildings with a traditional barn that has the potential for residential conversion.”

In Leicestershire, Berrys has just launched a 730-acre arable farm at Waltham on the Wolds, midway between Melton Mowbray and Grantham, for £3.8m.

Bescaby was part of the Belvoir Estate until it was bought by the vendors, who had been tenants for many years, in the mid-20th century.

It includes an attractive Grade II four-bedroom farmhouse, which was once used as a hunting lodge by the Dukes of Rutland to entertain their guests.

There is also a large range of traditional buildings, with scope for alternative uses, and 5000t of grain storage.

andrew.shirley@rbi.co.uk