VIDEO: Devon estate seeks new farmer applicants

Are you looking for that first step on the farming ladder and the opportunity to establish your own business? Devon estate owner, David Fursdon has teamed up with Farmers Weekly and Smiths Gore to do just that.

The opportunity is Rixham Farm, a 61-acre holding in mid-Devon that comes with an agricultural general purpose building and new three bedroom farmhouse. 

The farm lies within Fursdon Estate, where David and his wife, Catriona, have 750 acres of pasture, arable and woodland, a manor house, tea room and gardens open to the general public.

The person they are looking for could already be working on a farm, or maybe in the industry with a desire to farm, or indeed a new entrant.

Rixham Farm facts and figures

  • 61 acres of permanent pasture on grade III agricultural land
  • 3 bedroom farm house constructed in 2008
  • General purpose agricultural building (13.7m x 22.8m)
  • Mains water supply with a spring source that supplies a large pond
  • Perimeter deer fencing in good condition but with no internal divisions
  • Small area of woodland

In the past few years there has been much discussion about the lack of opportunity for new entrants seeking to get into farming, notably the lack of agricultural land available.

The opportunity is unique in that it comes without the usual constraints associated with open market lets.

It doesn’t have to be a straight forward tenancy agreement. All business ideas and arrangements are welcome and those that integrate with the existing farm business and local community are particularly encouraged.

Steve Talling of Smiths Gore adds: “Applicants will be judged on their business proposal and the level of their business acumen. Those short-listed will be required to produce a coherent and realistic business plan.” 

Given the small area of land, applicants will have to think creatively about how to establish a financially sustainable business. But this isn’t a test. A 10-year deal is on the table and for those with the right mindset Rixham farm presents a golden opportunity to get started in the industry.


  • 9 August: Deadline for submitting expression of interest
  • 12 August: Shortlist of applicants drawn up; applicants invited and given date of open day
  • Mid-August: Open day at Rixham Farm for shortlisted candidates
  • 30 August: Deadline for submission of business plan by shortlisted candidates
  • 9 September: Interview
  • 12 September: Appointment of successful candidate
  • 29 September: Agreement commences

How to apply?

Complete the application form below with your details and a 500 word expression of interest explaining your background, why you are interested in this opportunity and what you would hope to do with it.

You can also include a 60 second Youtube video clip explaining why you would be the perfect match for this opportunity. Email your video directly to

Deadline for submitting expression of interest 9 August.

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