Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

Leaving a legacy: planning for the future for landowners

27/06/23Leaving a legacy: planning for the future for landowners

With the day-to-day pressures of running a farm or managing an estate, it is easy to forget the importance of planning for the future. However, as anyone over the age of 25 knows, each year the days, weeks and months seem to pass by quicker and quicker. So, it is important to start thinking about your future now, even if it currently seems a long way off.

Many landowners now are looking at alternative ways of making money from the land, and it is worth considering some of the options available to ensure the commercial viability of the land long into the future.

Renovating farm buildings

Existing farm buildings, even those that have become dilapidated, hold the potential to be renovated and bring in additional income through rent or sale. For many people, living on a farm is the dream, particularly if they don’t actually have to run the farm! Businesses are also looking to the countryside as a preferred location, happy to sacrifice the convenience of a nearby Starbucks, for the convenience of having free parking on site. So, converting unused farm buildings into commercial property is also worth considering. However, if you are going to do that, make sure that WiFi is available too.


Landowners across the UK have diversify in all kinds of directions, from onsite storage units and farm shops, to camping and glamping sites. Some of these glamping sites have even gone one step further than yurts and shepherds’ huts, with refurbished buses and aeroplanes or even hobbit holes for their guests to stay in.

The Camping and Caravanning Club was granted special planning exemptions under Paragraph 5 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. This allows them to issue a certificate to landowners permitting up to five caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents or tents to be pitched on a designated site. Each guest is limited to a 28 day stay at any one time. There are further requirements that need to be met. Please contact Dave Bates for more information on this

Each diversification route has its benefits, as well as its challenges, but approached well could open up a whole new source of income – and potentially encourage family members to stay involved in the business, even if traditional farming isn’t their forte.  

Llamas and other critters

Rare breeds offer another form of diversification. Unusual herds of cows, pigs or sheep can provide additional income, or more unusual animals such as speciality rabbits, emus, goats or llamas might be the way forward.

Whichever direction appeals to you, you should get some professional advice first. Forge Property Consultants is a firm of highly-experienced Chartered Surveyors and Valuers, who can provide high-quality and strategic advice on a wide range of property and land matters. Find out more

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