Farms with afforestation and biodiversity potential for sale

Posted - 23/08/21

A flurry of activity in southern Scotland has seen National Farm Agents, Bidwells bring two farms for sale in Dumfries & Galloway. “Barnkin Of Craigs Farm” and “Merkland Farm” are both located close to Dumfries in ring-fenced blocks of 220 acres and 302 acres respectively.

Barnkin Of Craigs Farm, Dumfries

Barking of Craigs Farm is a compact and productive mixed arable/livestock farm of 220 acres with a substantial farmhouse and a wide range of traditional and modern agricultural buildings, situated approximately 4 miles south of Dumfries.

The farm buildings can either be used in their current form to provide accommodation and storage for an arable or mixed enterprise or the yard could lend itself to a variety of diversified uses to generate additional income streams, subject to the necessary consents.

Some of the traditional buildings have previously benefited from full planning permission for conversion to form up to 9 residential dwellings and the selling agents state that it is hoped that this, or something similar, might be secured in the future. There are two further building plots for sale (Lot 2), each with full planning permission for a 1 and ½ storey three-bedroom cottage on the holding.

Included in Lot 1 is Barnkin Farmhouse 4 bedroom property with the farmyard and buildings to the rear. As well as the farmhouse and yard, Lot 1 includes 40 acres of land of varying grades with the potential for an arable rotation on part and forage and rough grazing on the remainder. The majority of the land is sold in Lot 3 being 141.23 acres split between 6 enclosures of which 69 acres would be considered arable quality. The balance of farmland is found on Lot 4 being a single arable field extending to approximately 33.72 acres.

Managing the sale is Ross Low of Bidwells Perth who explains, “The farm as a whole but, more specifically land to the north and east may have some natural capital value that could contribute to a purchaser’s own corporate social responsibility strategies or indeed be leveraged to offset a third parties. There is also potential for some small-scale wetland restoration or creation in addition to potential woodland creation and carbon offsetting.”

Merkland Farm, Bankhead

Also being marketed by Bidwells Scotland is Merkland Farm, Bankhead situated approximately 7 miles south of Dumfries. Merkland Farm is an extensive block of grassland with forestry potential, together with a three-bedroom cottage and adjoining paddock and a semi redundant farmyard with a range of modern and traditional buildings.

The cottage and small paddock, as well as the farmyard are available for sale in Lots 1 and 2. The farmyard consists of a mixture of both modern and traditional construction of varying ages, proportions, uses and conditions which may lend themselves to redevelopment subject to planning.

The majority of farmland for sale at Merkland Farm extends to 288 acres in Lot 5 and is split between 20 enclosures. Roughly 115.35 Acres (46.68 Ha) of which is considered to be permanent pasture with the remaining 168.61 Acres (68.23 Ha) rougher grazings.

Mr Low explains – “The farm may have some natural capital potential that could contribute to a purchaser’s own corporate social responsibility strategies or indeed be leveraged to offset a third parties. There is also potential for woodland creation and carbon offsetting subject to securing the requisite planning permission.

Equally, with the current pivot towards agritourism, safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity combined with likely “green” incentives emerging as part of evolving farm subsidy regimes and stated government policy objectives, subject to securing the requisite planning permission there may scope to erect a series of holiday lodges, yurts or glamping pods to establish a further diversified income from the farm.

While potential purchasers will need to take their own professional advice, it is felt that there may also be scope for some renewable power generation, again subject to obtaining the requisite planning permission, completing the obligatory surveys and securing grid connection.”