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Can you help? Couple about to lose 15-year tenancy look for new farm

Sue and David Knight have been running Oakham Farm, Portbury, on a tenancy in Bristol for the last 15 years.

 

Faced with the end of the tenancy in March 2020, they are desperately looking for a home for their livestock.

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Can you help this couple who are looking for a new farm?

Neither Sue or David Knight are from farming backgrounds, and after building up there successful and well-known herd of Blonde d’Aquitaines, they are now faced with potentially losing the business as their 15-year tenancy comes to an end.

 

Their current landlord will not renew the tenancy and finding a new one is proving to be difficult.

The prospect of not securing a new tenancy is putting pressure on the couple.

 

Sue says: “Basically, we have nowhere to go and we are desperate to find somewhere.

 

“Pedigree blondes are not little, so a shed will not do really and, we are too old for a county council farm.

 

“There just does not seem to be anything about.

 

“If we could stay local to the south west that would be ideal - we have a son who lives close by and I work at the local GP and have done for 26 years.

 

“We have had a couple of comments such as, ‘you knew it was going to come to an end, why not do something sooner?’

 

“But you cannot when you have rent to pay, and you cannot get a tenancy 6 months before you need it.

 

“We cannot afford to pay two.

 

“I am clutching at straws and talking to whoever I can.”


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Potential

 

They have found some farms who are willing to rent them some space, but it is not enough for their cattle.

 

Avid showers and well-known on the show circuit, the couple sell breeding bulls and won the reserve interbreed at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, as well as selling internationally with demand for the herd’s genetics a growing market.

 

“We need individual pens so the bulls that are going to be sold can be halter broken as well as show cattle,” says Sue.

 

“You do not get a lot of that on farms but, we would be willing to do what we have to do to make it happen.

 

“We have got some amazing cattle and they deserve to have a future.

 

“My husband is really down because he is thinking he is going to have sell them all, and he has spent 30 years trying to build them up. He might have to get rid of them in a blink of an eye because we have got nowhere to go.

 

“I am going to be 60 next year and everything we have done we have learnt.

 

“I am not a farmer’s daughter and David is not a farmer’s son – my dad was in the air force and his was a bricklayer.

 

“If we have got to this age and we want to keep going, we are either stupid or actually we have got it right somewhere. But we are not being given that opportunity.”

NOTE: It has been made clear to Sue and David that their tenancy would not be renewed, so they did not go forwards with discussing this with their landlord.

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