An Oxfordshire farming family is selling its attractive 423-acre arable and livestock unit to join the growing exodus of people emigrating to Australia.
Colin and Heather Hilsdon will be following one of their three sons, a chef who moved to the southern hemisphere six years ago, and plan to use the proceeds from the sale of Manor Farm at Middleton Stoney, near Bicester, to buy a mixed farm in southern Victoria.
Their other sons, one of who is currently working in Western Australia for an embryo transfer business, would also be joining them along with their daughter-in-law and grandson, said Mr Hilsdon
“It’s been a four-year process we’ve visited our son three times and really like it there,” he said. “We haven’t found a farm yet but location and quality will be key, we’re not so hung up about size.”
Mr Hisldon said he already had about 40 Charollais sheep on rented ground that had been flushed for embryos. “I can’t take any embryos from here because everything is bred for scrapie resistance and the Australians require scrapie susceptibility so nothing is masked.”
Manor Farm, which was formerly part of the Earl of Jersey’s Middleton Park Estate, is being guided at £4m by selling agents Carter Jonas and TFM Readers.
As well as the principal four-bed house, which sits at the end of a 600m tree-lined drive, there are two Victorian cottages and planning consent is also awaited to convert a range of traditional building into four dwellings.
Despite the amount of residential property on offer, Mark Charter of Carter Jonas said he still reckoned the farm could sell to a farmer from Oxfordshire or surrounding counties. He said the it was being offered as a whole but could be lotted later if needed with the land valued at about £3900/acre.