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Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

britfarmRosanna and Ian Horsley on their farm in Devon. Credit: Christopher Jones.

A growing number of people from outside the farming fraternity are buying up agricultural land in Britain and the properties that come with them. The amount of traditional farming families acquiring land and holdings has been depleting.

By Ben Pike
The Telegraph
21 June 2016

Excerpts:

There are three types of buyer entering the market. The investor (both private and corporate), who sees farmland as a commodity; those who escape to the countryside at the weekend and won’t tend the land themselves; and the new breed of ‘good lifer’, who has ditched the city day job and are ploughing all their funds and business acumen into running the farm themselves.

Residential buyers are also piling in, lured by the large farmhouses that often come with the land. “Some buy at £1?million and some at £20?million. They want to combine a lifestyle move with involvement in active farming,” says Lawson.

It’s getting increasingly tough to make money from active farming according to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The average revenue from a farm business dropped across every type of operation except grazing livestock farms in 2014/15, new statistics have revealed.

But knowing their money is safe in land and property, young urbanites are using this as a chance to change career, explained Lawson. And there’s a growing numbers of them prepared to take the risk.

Read the complete article here.