Surveying the scene in…Staffordshire07/10/19
We are regularly asked for advice on a broad range of property and land matters. Based in offices in Staffordshire and Shropshire, we are ideally placed to serve our clientele, which is predominantly rural in nature. We work with all types of properties, but we have particular specialist knowledge in agricultural, rural and village properties.
It helps greatly that we are based in the heart of the English countryside. Our main office is located in West Felton, near Oswestry in Shropshire, but we also have a second office in Eccleshall in Staffordshire. Like Shropshire, Staffordshire is a county rich in rural heritage. But it has a much larger population – an estimated 1,126,200 as opposed to Shropshire’s 493,200 – and with the city of Stoke-on-Trent, it also has a large metropolitan population, as well as a rural one. This means that of the 48 counties of the UK, Staffordshire has the 17th largest population, which is distributed across its 2,713 km² (1,047 square mile) area.
Another landlocked county
Situated in the West Midlands, Staffordshire is another of England’s landlocked counties, with no coastline. It borders seven counties, with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south and Shropshire to the west. Its districts are a mixture of rural and urban, which makes the properties and clients we deal with more diverse than Shropshire.
Home to the Potters
Staffordshire is especially known for its industry and pottery, with several of the world’s largest pottery manufacturers being based in Stoke-on-Trent. The Victorian pottery industry is still visible today in the region, in everything from ‘The Potteries’ region of the county to Stoke City FC being nicknamed The Potters. In terms of the rural areas, Cannock Chase is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the country also boasts parts of the National Forest and the Peak District National Park. It has three large swathes of protected greenbelt land too. Staffordshire also claims the highest village in Britain, Flash in the Staffordshire Moorlands, and metal detectorists scour the countryside for another treasure trove – in 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever unearthed in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield.
As in other regions where agriculture was a key feature of the economy, the farming sector has seen a decline in the last 20 years, while services and industry have prospered. Operating in such a diverse country can present its own challenges and we can find ourselves travelling to some pretty remote areas one day, and into the city the next. Thankfully the country is well-served with a strong road network, with the M6, the A5 and the A34 all providing easy access throughout the county. By having offices in two key regions, our team is well-positioned to serve its clients across a region, be it for valuations, purchases or simply some reliable, expert advice.