Attractive French farm woos British buyers

British farmers who would like to remain a member of the European Union are being invited to put in an offer for a large mixed farm in central France, which is available for £4.6m.

The 384ha mixed cereal and livestock farm between Poitiers and Chateauroux is in the Indre department of France and is being marketed for €5.5m (£4.6m).

The farm is in one block and there is also the option to buy or rent an additional 80ha of arable land seven miles away.

See also: What it’s like to be a female farmer in France

The main block is predominantly down to grass, with about 50 acres of maize grown for on-farm feeding.

Pasture of French farm

© Tim Beedell

However, there is the ability to irrigate the entire block from two boreholes and lakes on the property so more land could be converted to arable production.

At present, there is a commercial herd of 250 Limousin cows on the farm, with bulls being finished at 400kg and heifers at 415kg, with the meat sold under a quality label in France.

Cattle shed on French farm

© Tim Beedell

The farm buildings are large enough to hold 800 adult cattle, plus the current calf crop, with additional storage for hay, grain and straw.

Big unit

Tim Beedell, a retired farmer who is helping the owners of the farm to market it, said the farm was big by French standards, which is why it could prove attractive to international buyers.

“The farm has been in the same family since 1957, but they would like to retire and there are no family members who wish to continue farming.

“It’s a very well-organised farm in a ring-fence and a real opportunity for the right person.

French farm

© Tim Beedell

“My experience [of farming in France after moving from the UK in 1990] is that the French are very welcoming on a one-to-one basis.

The property is also in a good agricultural area where farmers are still valued and appreciated.”

The farm attracts annual subsidies of about €120,000 (£102,000) [under the Common Agricultural Policy], which are likely to continue for some time into the future, he added.

Development potential

The current owners occupy the main house – a chateau – and a smaller restored coaching house.

French farm

© Tim Beedell

There is also a farm manager’s cottage, a gite for holiday lets and two other cottages that could be renovated for letting.

The farm is based in a regional park, so there could be potential for a green tourism venture.

Mr Beedell has experience of making the move from the UK to farm in France, running a part-owned, part-tenanted beef and cereals farm for more than 25 years.

He retired last year when his farm business was taken over by a Dutch farmer.

For more information on the farm, contact Mr Beedell on 0033 67714 9925 or Freek Van Diemen on 0033 78536 1202.