Spate of organic farm sales shows market is healthy

A spate of organic land sales have achieved premium prices recently and now Savills is selling a “heavenly” organic farm in Devon.

Aller Farm’s 183 acres lie just half a mile from the sought-after village of Dolton, near Winkleigh. They were converted 20 years ago by well-known organic farmer and rural priest David Ursell, along with his wife Susie and their three children.

Wheat, triticale and oats have all been successfully grown and now command a 100% premium over conventionally grown cereals. The family has also been running sheep, and a beef suckler herd, selling meat to Waitrose. Modern farm buildings provide housing for livestock, stabling, and storage for machinery and forage crops.

A six-bedroom house with an annexe sits at the centre of the farm and has been updated to include heating provided by wood from the farm (plus central heating if required), and a solar panel to reduce water-heating bills. Many features have been constructed using oak and ash grown on the farm itself.

Savills is looking for £1.585m.

Meanwhile, Stags put 74 acres of organic land, in five lots, under the hammer at Whitecross Farm, Cheriton Fitzpaine, for an average £6800/acre, ranging from £5500 to £9700/acre. “Organic farmers were bidding hard,” said the firm’s Alex Rew. “There seems to be stronger demand for organic land again.”

Stags is selling two organic holdings – Linscombe Farm with 60 acres near Crediton, home to an eponymous organic vegetable box scheme (not being sold with the farm), and Hele Vale Farm at Waterrow, near Taunton, with 80 acres.

Linscombe includes a farm office, packing shed, cold stores, 20 polytunnels with 34,500sq ft of capacity, and a licenced composting business, all approved by the Soil Association. Two mobile homes are on-site. Good red soil, valued at around £5000/acre, contributes to a guide price of £525,000-£615,000.

Hele Vale has also started growing vegetables in the wake as well as producing organic chicken. The farm includes a timber lodge with temporary planning permission. Guide price is £600,000.