30 November 2001

Riding school makes big contribution

A CAITHNESS farming enterprise is for sale with substantial income from non-farming sources.

Eight miles south of Thurso, Achavrole is a mainly arable farm which, together with land at Scots Calder, extends to a total 424 acres. A saddlery shop was opened there in 1996, and three years later the Hymers family were successful in their tender for the contract to supply equestrian facilities to the North Highland College in Thurso.

A general purpose building was readily converted into an indoor riding school, and the Hymers provided a sand school area, stabling for 22 horses, isolation boxes and Portakabin classrooms.

The whole facility, which uses 30 acres for grazing, now provides an income of £24,000 a year.

Almost simultaneously to establishing the riding school, the owners entered negotiations to lease six acres of land for slate quarrying on another part of the farm that adjoins an existing quarry. It is now let to Caithness Slate Products until 2015 at a rent of £5000 a year.

Some 272 acres at Achavrole are eligible for arable payments, there are unfenced common grazings that can provide extra forage acres for extensification, and the land at Scots Calder has outline planning permission for three houses.

Total guide is over £600,000 through Aberdeen & Northern. &#42

Achavrole, near Thurso, available for £600,000 from Aberdeen & Northern.