Worcestershire gem could set market sparkling

Stealing the limelight at this traditionally quiet time of year is a farm new to the market in Worcestershire, with  259ha (641 acres) and a historic farmhouse.

Birch Farm near Button Bridge, on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border, is a stunning ring-fenced farm with a Grade II listed William and Mary house in need of renovation.

Currently let on a Farm Business Tenancy, the land becomes vacant in September 2012. Predominantly commercial arable land, with some pasture and woodland, it is suitable for modern machinery, conservation work and shooting.

“There hasn’t been much of this size for sale in Worcestershire, and the market has been red hot this year, so we didn’t see any real reason to wait,” said agent Charlie Evans at Strutt & Parker.

“It’s one of my favourite farms of the year because it’s commercial enough to be of interest to farmers, but it could be of interest to a lifestyle buyer as well because the house has real wow factor.”

The seven-bed house lies at the centre of the farm, providing 5,719sq ft of accommodation over three floors, plus a cellar. Although in need of refurbishment, it has many period features including high ceilings, sash windows, wall panelling and feature fireplaces.

“It will be a stunning centrepiece when it’s finished, and is very private, set in typically attractive rolling Worcestershire/Shropshire countryside,” said Mr Evans.

The small estate also comes with a pair of semi-detached three-bedroom cottages set on the private driveway, which are let under the Rent Agriculture Act. There is also an agriculturally-tied flat, small office block, extensive garaging, formal gardens and an orchard.

Accessed off the main farm track, some of the buildings are let on an FBT and would benefit from modernisation. Two grain stores, four silos, a dutch barn and two cattle yards are included in the sale. There is also a range of traditional buildings and a general purpose shed.

The grade 3 land is well drained coarse loamy soil over rock, Rivington 2 Series, and lies a in a single block. “The fields are mainly of a good size and suitable for modern day farming, and the variety of spinneys and copses make it ideal for shooting and conservation,” said Mr Evans. “The farm is in the Entry Level Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship schemes, which brings in almost £18,000 a year.”

On the market due to its owner restructuring assets, he expects Birch Farm to attract considerable interest. “It is absolutely stunning, and is a top quality farm. Land in that part of the world is particularly scarce on the market, and it’s the only farm of its size available at the moment. This is a great project for someone who wants to create something really very special.”

Birch Farm is on the market with joint agent Knight Frank for £6m as a whole. (Strutt & Parker 020 7629 7282; Knight Frank 020 7629 8171)