Versatile mix makes large south west farm attractive

Few farms offer the versatility of Ellacott Barton, Bratton Clovelly in Devon, where farming, lifestyle, several successful diversifications and sporting are all part of the package.

The 640-acre organic farm, one of the largest to come on the market in the south west this year, is in a ring fence with no public rights of way. It has a 16th century eight-bedroom main farmhouse a two-bedroom annexe cottage, four-bedroom house and three-bedroom bungalow.

The main house is currently used for bed and breakfast accommodation, while the other properties provide housing or letting income. The farm also has a substantial range of fair quality steel portal frame, timber frame and several traditional natural stone and brick buildings. “The layout of the extensive range of farm buildings lends itself to a dairy unit,” said agent David Kivell, who has set a £5m guide price.

Most of the land is level or gently sloping grass; there is also some woodland and game cover cropping. The buildings include a modern meat plant with a cutting room and offices, currently housing the Eversfield Organic meat and produce business. Vendor Mark Bury is flexible about the future use of the buildings, which are included in the sale although the meat business is not, said Mr Kivell.

Sporting includes a well invested and established shoot and a 1.5-acre fishing lake. Ellacott Barton is the subject of several environmental and other agreements including Countryside Stewardship running until September 2012, Organic Entry Level until April 2013 and Woodland until October 2017. Also, the whole farm is in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme which brings in £18,000 a year.

The same firm is also selling Withycombe Farm, Challacombe, on the western fringes of Exmoor, with 250 acres of south-facing pasture and arable land in a ring fence. Although currently stocked with cattle and sheep, many of the fields are suitable for arable.

The five-bedroom farmhouse needs modernising and is flanked by two traditional barns with residential or holiday potential. Included in the £1.65m guide price are further livestock buildings. (D R Kivell & Partners 01822 810 810)