Great contrast in early farmland launches of 2024

This week sees the launch of a block of quality arable land in Cambridgeshire and a Norfolk farm, as well as highly contrasting opportunities further north.

Carter Jonas is marketing almost 77 acres at Pymoor, Little Downham, near Ely. This is productive Grade 1 land currently in a mixed combinable and root crop rotation.

Its loamy and sandy soils have a peaty surface and benefit from naturally high groundwater.

As a whole, the guide price is £730,000 (£9,484/acre) but it is being marketed in up to four lots.

It has an abstraction licence with varying volumes attached to each lot, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

See also: Biodiversity net gain becomes a requirement on developers

Vacant possession will be achieved in autumn 2024 after harvest.

Aerial view of farm buildings

Hall Farm © Brown & Co

In neighbouring Norfolk, Brown & Co is relaunching Hall Farm, a 292-acre arable holding at Northwold, between King’s Lynn and Thetford.

A sale had been agreed last autumn but did not proceed due to an unforeseen change of circumstances for the prospective buyer.

The owners of the family-run farm have decided to sell due to their age and the number of siblings who jointly own the holding.

Hall Farm has a classic Norfolk farmhouse and a range of modern and traditional farm buildings.

Some of these have residential development potential and the owners have received a positive pre-application response from the local planning authority.

Soil types here are mainly Newmarket 2 Series, well-drained calcareous coarse loamy and sandy soils over chalk.

The northerly part of the farm sits along the River Wissey, with Isleham 2 Series soils – deep permeable sandy and peaty soils.

Almost 50 acres of the land is subject to an option agreement for a leased solar array, with planning permission already in place and the lease likely to be executed in the second quarter of 2024, according to Brown & Co.

Hall Farm also has a winter fill reservoir and two abstraction licences and is being marketed at a guide price of £4.75m.

Scottish estate

Aerial view of moorland and hills

Balnacoil © Savills

In the Scottish Highlands, 15,230 acres of hills, moorland and native woodland on the Balnacoil Estate in Sutherland has come to the market at £8.5m.

Rich in natural assets, it offers significant potential for carbon and biodiversity-based projects, says Luke French, director of rural agency at selling agent Savills.

“Balnacoil offers a new owner the opportunity to restore and manage large areas of degraded peatland and blanket bog, create new woodlands, and conserve and enhance a range of habitats, including wetlands, lochs and woodlands,’’ he says.

In 2020, a Forestry Grant Scheme project saw 356 acres of native woodland planted to diversify habitats, sequester carbon, improve shelter for deer and provide future income.

Included in the sale is a timber-clad hill bothy currently used for lunches and as a meeting point for deer stalking parties.

Soil types are largely peaty gleys and blanket peat, classified as Grade 5 and 6 agricultural land.

The land being marketed forms a significant part of a larger estate, which includes Balnacoil Lodge, three estate cottages and 2,556 acres of land and woodland. There is also a wind farm option in place.

Savills says that the owner may consider selling the entire estate with a leaseback arrangement for the sporting and the lodge.

North Yorkshire arable and pasture

View across a field with pylons

Kirklevington © Strutt & Parker

Strutt & Parker is selling a 65-acre block of quality arable land, pasture and mixed amenity woodland at Kirklevington, near the market town of Yarm.

The Grade 3 and relatively flat arable land accounts for just over 50 acres across two fields and is currently part of a traditional rotational system.

There is 12.5 acres of permanent pasture with a small strip of woodland along the edge, while woodland makes up the remainder of the offering.

The land is being marketed with an overall guide price of £675,000, although it will also be offered in three lots.