Tenant farmers have been offered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take their farming passion to the fields of the East Devon Jurassic Coast.
In an open market first, owners Clinton Devon Estates have opened up the ‘rare opportunity’ for a ‘forward-thinking’ farmer to bid for the tenancy at Stantyway Farm, Otterton.
The 106 ha (206 acre) arable organic farm is one of 30 tenant farms on the wider 10,117 ha (25,000 acre) estate with a newly refurbished four-bedroom farm house and a range of modern agricultural buildings on offer.
Estates surveyor Clare James said the organisation was looking for an ‘entrepreneurial farmer’ who would be ‘eco-conscious in their approach to farming, but of a resilient disposition’.
She said: “We are looking for a tenant who is forward-thinking, who is dynamic, who embraces wildlife and wants to work with us on the countryside stewardship agreement that is in place and that is ready to face the challenges of Brexit as we go forward to 2020.
“We are very proud of the close and enduring relationships we have with our tenant farmers and, in many cases, we work with them to support their business aspirations, whether it is in terms of investment or diversification goals.”
Although the farm has organic status, there will be no obligation for the incoming tenant to continue farming organically.
There is, however, a need for high environmental standards and the farmer to be a ‘custodian of the natural environment’.
Clinton Devon Estates’ head of land and property Leigh Rix added: “We believe that the current basic payment subsidy which is based on farm size is likely to switch over to a conservation related subsidy which encompasses the sustainable soil and water management of the land as well as other public goods and services.
“Conservation and protecting our environment is incredibly important to the estate.
“In addition to this, our climate is changing and we have seen evidence of it again this spring, where we had two months of virtually no rain; so an innovative and resilient attitude in our farmers in the face of Brexit and climate change is going to be more important than ever.”