14 April 2000

Long-established organic unit has £2m guide price

By Louise Rose

A RARE opportunity to buy nearly 400 acres which has been in organic production for at least 25 years has presented itself near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Hawstead Place Farm includes 377 acres of arable and grassland – 299 acres are eligible for arable area aid payments and benefit from a water abstraction licence for about 3m gallons/year from the lakes on the unit.

Current cropping on the grade 2 land, which is all registered with organic farmers and growers, is based on six-year rotation including a two-year grass and clover ley, winter and spring cereals, pulses and some areas of vegetable production. Green manure crops range from stubble turnips to mustard and vetches.

The grassland is grazed by the single suckler cow herd – the vendor has 43.6 suckler cow premium rights which can be bought by separate negotiaton

There are also nearly 29 acres of woodland and the farm is a member of the countryside stewardship and arable stewardship schemes.

As a whole, the farm is guided at £2m by Michael Fiddes, Strutt & Parker which includes an eight-bedroom farmhouse, a secondary house and a pair of cottages. The secondary house which is subject to a life tenancy could be available as a separate lot guided at £250,000.

Also near Bury St Edmunds, a block of bare arable land is for sale guided at in the region of £300,000 by Jim Bryant, Bidwells. The 116 acres is classified grade 2 fine loam and clay over a chalky till. &#42