The plea­sures of farm­land

Adrian Can­non, ru­ral part­ner at Tayler & Fletcher, ex­tols the very real re­wards of owning farm­land

Cotswold Life - - PROPERTY NEWS - taylerand­

As we move into au­tumn, one of the best sea­sons in the Cotswolds, we look at the plea­sures of owning farm­land.

The colours turn from the golden yel­lows of wheat and bar­ley to the red brown earths of the Cotswold brash as the ploughs turn the fur­row, or the seed drill plants the next crop. But what, we ask, are the plea­sures of owning farm­land?

There is the abil­ity to own that lit­tle part of Eng­land that ev­ery En­glish­man wants to pos­sess. So, are there bar­ri­ers in owning farm­land? No, not re­ally – there is reg­u­la­tion, but much of the pa­per­work can be un­der­taken by your lo­cal agent or farm con­sul­tant, and the reg­u­la­tion is there to pro­tect the valu­able coun­try­side.

What are the ad­van­tages of owning land? There is the tax ad­van­tage of a nil rate for in­her­i­tance tax; if the struc­ture is set up cor­rectly you can pass on your wealth down through your fam­ily. There is the abil­ity to cre­ate a legacy and watch the land not only change over the sea­sons, but over the years.

One of the many re­ward­ing as­pects I have been in­volved in is the plant­ing wood­lands in the farm wood­land scheme and see­ing them grow, cap­tur­ing car­bon and in­tro­duc­ing a wealth of wildlife onto the farm. And, yes, there are still grants to sup­port such schemes with the govern­ment look­ing to sup­port the en­vi­ron­ment, soils and air qual­ity now more than ever.

So, what will the in­come be in the fu­ture? Well, as noted above, grants will per­sist, with govern­ment com­mit­ment un­til 2027, but in­dus­try is be­gin­ning to sup­port its own ini­tia­tives, from river catch­ment projects to re­new­ables. It is un­de­ni­able that it does not pro­duce a large re­turn on in­vest­ment, but to be part of the ru­ral com­mu­nity brings its own re­wards.

One of the key plea­sures to owning farm­land is that of grow­ing food, from ce­re­als to live­stock. Whilst there is some loss of sight, with Brexit, from the govern­ment that we still need food, pro­duc­tion from farm­land is key. Joint ven­tures with neigh­bours or con­trac­tors al­low the landowner to en­ter into the world of farm­ing whilst not ne­ces­si­tat­ing the in­vest­ment in ma­chin­ery or stock im­me­di­ately. Again, ex­per­tise in the field can sup­port you through this en­try, from bud­gets to cash­flow and the le­gal doc­u­ments for such agree­ments. As no two farms are the same, with each farm hav­ing it’s own di­ver­sity and an owner’s ob­jec­tives be­ing char­ac­terised by their as­pi­ra­tions, then each farm will end up with a dif­fer­ent strat­egy, lead­ing to the di­ver­sity of the Cotswolds.

Of course the key ad­van­tage re­mains that farm­land is a se­cure as­set, a lim­ited re­source and one which much en­joy­ment can be de­rived from. Ev­ery­thing we do at Tayler & Fletcher tries to max­imise the plea­sure in achiev­ing this on be­half of our farm­ing clients.

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