14 April 1995

Exmoor estate at £2m guide price

By Louise Rose

USUALLY potential buyers of substantial estates are forced to look to Scotland or the north of England, but a rare comparable opportunity is marketed in Devon.

The Fortescue Exmoor Estate has been managed in conjunction with the Fortescue familys principal estate in Devon, and a consolidation programme brings it to the market.

Including 5900 acres of agricultural land on Exmoor, 2150 acres are in-bye grazing, managed in hand, and the remainder is classified as rough upland.

Resulting from a sale and leaseback agreement, these 3700 acres are held on an assignable licence from the Somerset National Park.

Within an environmentally sensitive area and with less favoured area status, the estate benefits from substantial grants and support payments.

"This additional income is likely to attract commercial stock farmers wanting to run a large-scale farming business which benefits from environmental subsidies," says Rupert Montefiore, a director of selling agents Savills.

The current farming enterprises include sheep and beef, with quota for 4143 ewes and 306 suckler cows. Including two sets of beef buildings, the estate could easily be split in to two similar sized smaller units with one farm centred around the principal house at Simonsbath Barton and the second at Cornham Farm.

Interest is also anticipated from amenity buyers keen to establish sporting facilities to run in conjunction with the farming enterprises, and Mr Montefiore maintains that it could attract an overseas buyer.

The estate is being offered at a guide price of £2m for the whole, by Savills.

Combining sporting opportunities with profitable farming, the Fortescue Exmoor Estate, Devon, benefits from both ESA and LFA status.