Repurposing land – countryside pursuits09/11/20
Diversification in the farming and agricultural sector is one of the biggest growth markets in leisure and tourism. The countryside offers such as wealth of different landscapes and locations, with geography that can be put to all kinds of uses. Some landowners have estates that include a wealth of different features, such as waterways, meres or lakes, or woodland, that offer naturally interesting landscapes for visitors to explore. But even if you land is primarily pasture or farmland, there are many opportunities to create activities that can be enjoyed by visitors and become a supplementary income.
Cycling is continuing to enjoy a renaissance in popularity that goes from strength to strength. As a mode of transport and an activity, it is environmentally friendly and so has great green credentials. It is also good for health and an excellent way to socialise – even in these socially distanced times.
It’s easy to create biking trails for mountain bikers and routes can be created using existing farm tracks. If you want to be more ambitious, you can create jumps and courses for cross-country and BMX bikers. Such activity can also attract spectators, which with the addition of a small café can also become a revenue stream.
If pedal power isn’t enough for you, then quad biking may be an option. It’s another of those rural pursuits that’s become more popular and affordable over the years. A quad bike is a type of motorbike, with four large wheels, which make it easy (in theory) to tackle rough terrain. Quad biking involves off-road riding using these quad bikes, and has become popular with children and adults alike. Quad bikes must be approved, registered, taxed and have an MOT, but most can’t be used on the road, as they don’t meet current road safety standards. Like cycling trails, quad biking can use farmland as a track to be traversed. The rougher the terrain, the better.
On the hoof
Perhaps quad biking isn’t to your taste, so why not try some real horsepower. Equestrian activities have always been intrinsically linked to the countryside. Whether it’s a few simple jumps in a field, or an elaborate, challenging cross-country course, rural estates lend themselves to this most pastoral of pastimes. Equestrian centres that offer horse riding tuition and other activities remain popular, but they are quite space intensive – compare the land required for horses compared to denser livestock, such as cattle and sheep. Bridleways may already be present on your land, so creating a riding route may be simpler than you might think. It might also be possible to lease your land for use in equestrian eventing, or to allow bulky kit such as horseboxes or containers to be stored.
If you think that one of these activities may suit your location and land, then why not get in touch with us today. Our land management experts can offer advice and ideas on how to get the most out of your estate.