23 August 2002

Land exceeds expectations

THE recent auction of a block of arable soil and woodland in the picturesque north Bucks village of Ravenstone caused a stir when one of the bidders arrived by helicopter.

Reported to be the inspiration for the poet William Cowper, the 100-acre parcel – which included two woods totalling almost 40 acres – sold to a non-farming buyer for £215,500 (£2168/acre), against a pre-auction guide of £200,000.

Long lease

Auctioneer Howkins & Harrison would not reveal the identity of the purchaser but he is believed to come from the area.

Local farmers were surprised the sale fetched so much because a lot of the arable land is shaded by the woodland, some of which is on a long lease to the Forestry Commission.

Selling agent Tim Ball said: "The buyer and the under-bidder found the land appealing for its history and its location in the heart of rural England." &#42