2020 has not been an easy year for our farming clients and will be remembered not just for Covid but for the weather and resulting challenging harvest.
We started with a record-breaking wet winter then spring turned a record-breaking dry time and then harvest was affected by wind and rain and now the autumn has been wetter than usual. We are all ready for next year!
At Robert Bell and Company the agricultural department has welcomed Kate Urry who was only just able to find he feet before lockdown caused a dramatic change in how we worked! We were able to keep going during the first lockdown with Kate in the office having to virtually liaise with others for information from files. We are thankful to our clients who were equally resourceful in using new ways to communicate and provide the information we needed.
The year has seen much activity with various land sale including numerous privately agreed and some with challenging complications to overcome! There have been claims to assist farmers affected by floods and the Viking Link scheme has now started with us assisting numerous effected landowners and solar farms are rearing their head again. The latter half of this year has also seen some tax planning discussions and valuations, for some reason!
We have seen more activity on environmental applications, and more interest in development or commercial lets on farms to make the most of assets. This is just the start of what will be a generational change in farming. Brexit has freed the UK from the infamous EU Common Agricultural Policy and this is to fundamentally restructure the subsidy schemes and shift support to environmental outcomes and other public goods. Added to the increased knowledge of carbon sequestration and interest in biodiversity offsetting there are many reasons for farmers and landowners to now take a step back to evaluate their businesses and assets and be prepared. We look forward to assisting our clients and giving them the advice, knowledge and support to take them forward.
BSc (Hons), MRICS FAAV