With higher energy costs, lower food prices and the real effect of Brexit still unknown, over half of Britain’s farms are having to find new and improved ways to support the traditional business practice.
Since the announcement of Brexit, the number of British holidaymakers who stay in the UK rather than travel abroad has increased. Farmers are in a great position to tap into this market. If your farm happens to be within or on the doorstep of an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) then converting part of your farm to holiday rentals could be an option for you.
Rural Planning Services can advise you on whether or not your buildings are suitable for conversion, how many units could potentially be provided and the costs associated with undertaking the conversion works.
Nature & Camping
Where buildings are not suitable for conversion or the costs prohibit conversion works then forming a campsite may offer a viable alternative.
Modern camp sites cater for tents, caravans, and motor homes. Whilst traditional campsites are still a popular choice the surge in “glamping” has seen an increase in more bespoke and prestigious accommodation options such as yurts, wigwams and even tree houses.
Festivals & Events
There has been a sharp increase in the number and type of local festivals in recent years. So, if you’re convinced your estate could provide the ideal setting for a local or even national festival you could be on to something. When thinking about hosting a festival, you must have a thorough knowledge of the festivals market. You will also need good contacts, an understanding of licensing and legal requirements, and knowledge of practical issues such as parking/toilets/camping facilities. You will also have to be well-versed in the ticket sales process to ensure good cash flow.
Opening your land to the public to engage in leisure activities could provide new and improved ways of generating income streams.
Riding schools: This could include livery, or it may be something as simple as providing riders with all-weather facilities that can be hired out. Facilities may include Indoor Arena’s through conversion of farm buildings, outdoor arena’s or cross-country courses. A riding stable business can be a profitable venture if it is properly planned and managed.
Clay pigeon shooting: A fun sport, which is accessible to everyone, clay shooting can also open doors to other activities on your farm and the surrounding land, such as game shooting and fishing.
Guided walks and rambling routes: Opening your farm up to visitors is a good starting point for diversification. Offering guided walks in the area or creating public walking routes for ramblers, that are not intrusive can expand your farm and connections.
Team building/outdoor pursuits; many sites are now entering the team-building market. Sites offer activities such as digger driving, quad biking, zip lines, raft building and archery. To compliment team-building days you will need to provide a team ‘base’ with catering and toilet facilities.
If you would like advice on what type of diversification is right for your site get in contact with one of our team today.