Isle of Sheppey farm in same hands for 300 years

Farms on Kent’s Isle of Sheppey come to the market rarely enough, but local agent George Webb Finn’s latest instruction has been in the same ownership for 300 years.

Great Bells Farm at Eastchurch lies on the south side of the Isle, adjoining the Swale Estuary and Windmill Creek, emphasising its wildfowl and sporting potential.

George Webb Finn’s Stuart Mair said the farm had formed one of the original endowments of the local William Barrow’s Charitable Trust, which celebrated its 300th birthday last year. “The farm has been improved in recent years, with fencing replaced and ditches re-dug. There is no dwelling, but there is a range of agriculural buildings and a grain store which is presently used by a neighbouring farmer.”

The land is predominantly in arable reversion as part of an environmentally sensitive area management agreement, which generates an income of more than £47,000 a year. But Mr Mair said the farm offered commercial farming buyers a lot of flexibility to return some of the land to arable production when the management agreement expired in 2013.

The farm also includes a small area of salt marsh, offering excellent wildfowling potential. The shooting rights are let. George Webb Finn is looking for offers of more than £1.4m, which guides the land at about £3000/acre. “We expect considerable interest from neighbouring landowners as well as other individuals with shooting or conservation interests,” said Mr Mair.