Know How / Diversification

The income generated by diversification is a vital component of many farming businesses – but it can involve unfamiliar planning, legal, staffing, plus health and safety issues.

This page offers tips and advice to guide you through your diversification journey. You’ll find information to help you to set up and run a thriving new enterprise on your farm.

Key areas of focus:

  • Inspirational farm diversification case-studies
  • Opportunities for grant support
  • Avoiding legal and tax pitfalls
  • Successful staff management
  • Business planning and marketing strategies

Case studies

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How farm retailers are retaining lockdown customers

According to a Farm Retail Association (FRA) survey, 92% of members saw a significant rise in customer numbers after lockdown rules were imposed in March. Almost 80% had introduced a…


How one farmer adds value with ‘worthless’ wool and bracken

Bracken is a scourge for many hill farmers, eating up valuable grazing land, providing an ideal habit for ticks, and proving difficult to control. But a farmer in Cumbria has…


Farmers Weekly Awards: Diversification finalists 2020

This year’s three finalists have all developed sound businesses to keep the farm afloat and provide a succession platform for future generations. The diversifications include a fruit farm selling direct…


Tips on setting up an award-winning diversification

Emma Boyles and her team have earned greater recognition for their quality fine wool business since winning Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year 2019. We find out how they…


Field to plate - diversification on Japanese farms

Japan’s food culture is built on strong regional associations and loyalties, alongside superb quality and freshness.  However, accelerating rural depopulation, falling farm incomes, concerns over food security and a crippling…


How a Cornish farm set up on-farm deer processing facilities

Cornish farmers Matt and Pip Smith are hoping to capitalise on soaring demand for British venison having recently launched their own branded meat company, Westcountry Premium Venison. New-Zealand-born Matt, a…

Practical advice

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How to make your farm B&B appeal to the staycation market

The coronavirus pandemic hit the UK bed and breakfast (B&B) market harder than other forms of staycation such as camping, glamping and holiday lets.  Social distancing between groups within one…


How to make your farm attractive to the glamping market

Meeting the developing demands of customers and ensuring the business is on a firm footing must be priorities for those planning to enter the glamping market. The glamping market evolved…


How to go about diversifiying into farm pop-up campsites

The number of farms offering temporary campsites has soared, boosted by a change to government planning policy and rising demand for outdoor getaways. Of the 2,000 UK campsites listed on…


How to benefit from the growing demand for holiday lets

Higher demand, coupled with concerns about post-Brexit support for agriculture, has made a farm diversification into letting cottages, barns, annexes and apartments more attractive.     Farmer and holiday let owner…


So you want to... sell food to the public

Tapping into the burgeoning market for locally produced food and drink that come with a story brings potentially larger profit margins, but also carries risk. For anyone going down this…


Business Clinic: Could solar farm cause damage to our land?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Tom Hilton, senior energy specialist at Carter Jonas, discusses the issue of decommissioning…


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12 steps to improve marketing of a staycation venture

Whether it is glamping, camping, holiday lets, B&Bs or pop-up campsites, a diversification into the leisure sector needs visitors. Here, Savills tourism and leisure director Simon Foster, FarmStay chairwoman Kay…


Farmshops continue to #FeedTheNation as lockdown eases

Farm shops are predicting a positive future, with early indications suggesting new customers who turned to them in lockdown are remaining loyal. Turnover is up on pre-Covid-19 levels at Newlyns…


Land with forestry potential sees unprecedented prices

Hill farms and bare land with the potential for planting trees have achieved unprecedented prices due to competitive bidding from commercial forestry investors. This rise in demand was the biggest…


Exclusive survey: 97% farms find diversification profitable

Ingenuity, drive, skill and hard work are all clear to see in the results of Farmers Weekly’s diversification survey, carried out in association with Carter Jonas.  A vast range of…


5 minutes with... Diversification award winners the Moretons

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…


Why planting trees can improve farm performance

Trees and hedgerows might shape the appearance of the Great British countryside, but their role goes way beyond simply looking pretty. From improving animal welfare to mitigating the effects of…


How farms on the edge of cities survive and thrive

Agricultural buffers at the edge of the rural-urban fringe provide their own unique challenges, but they are also home to some of the country’s most successful farm businesses. For many…