Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 25 September 2018

It's Scot potential - See inside this stunning 528ac estate with €37k per annum in EU payments on the market in Scotland

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Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

I haven't been to Scotland since 1977, a lifetime ago. As a student, I holidayed there with friends travelling in a VW Variant that was inclined to overheat. Our accommodation was a tent that offered slim protection from the elements.

Driving from Carlisle to John o' Groats we took in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow.

I remember being delighted at the beauty of Edinburgh and getting badly sunburnt climbing Ben Nevis on 07/07/77. One of the stand-out memories was a visit to the site of the Battle of Culloden, a most eerie place. One of my friends, a musician, stood on a rock and played 'Skye Boat Song' on his tin whistle; I can still hear it.

On the north-eastern leg of our odyssey in Aberdeenshire, I'm sure we were within a short spin of a very fine 528ac tillage and grass residential farm known as the Mains of Rhynie. Located 16km from Huntly, 35km from Inverurie and 60km north west of the city of Aberdeen, the farm is guided for sale by Savills of Edinburgh at £2.45m or €2.78m.

The holding is situated in strong agricultural countryside in the area of Strathbogie, about 1.5km from the village of Rhynie. The property includes a refurbished house and a modern yard with a wide array of buildings.

The farm and farm buildings are centrally located set in a natural hollow reached by a private tree-lined avenue. According to Evelyn Channing of Savills, Edinburgh, there has been significant investment in the infrastructure over the last three years.

The house sits on its own site near the farmyard with accommodation including a vestibule, a hallway, a dining room, a sitting room, a study and a guest WC. To the rear is in an extension with a spacious kitchen and dining area, the heart of every farmhouse.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, a family bathroom and an ensuite bathroom with the main bedroom. A loft is accessed from the landing on the first floor while at the opposite end beneath the house is a basement measuring 26ft by 16ft4ins.

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The heating is provided by a relatively new oil-fired system while the windows are of hardwood double-glazing throughout.

The land is in one block and mainly in tillage. Undulating in nature, it includes higher ground extending to 90ac leased to a livestock farmer for grazing.

Income

The main income is generated by cereal farming with 100ac in winter wheat giving an output of 3.5t/ac, 200ac is in spring barley with an output of 2.45t/ac while 60ac in spring oats with an expected output of 2.8t/ac.

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An income of £33,000 (€37k) per annum is received in payments associated with environmental undertakings under the Agri Environment Climate Scheme (AECS).

According to the auctioneers, the land, classified by the James Hutton Institute for soil research as class 3(2), is a mixture of sandy silt loams, silt loams and clay with a current ph average of 5.92.

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The farm is also home to a former commercial quarry extending to 32ac and accessed directly from the public road. This section of the property adjoins a 6ac grass field and a deciduous wood.

Evelyn Channing points out that while favoured as an arable farm, the Mains of Rhynie is an adaptable holding where the higher ground could be used for tree planting.

"However, there is as much ground under the plough as possible," she said.

The yard is comprised of a series of modern and traditional farm buildings. There has been significant investment in the infrastructure in recent times with old buildings replaced by more modern structures.

These include a 35.5m by 22.7m general-purpose shed currently used for grain and machinery storage. Built around a steel portal frame, it has a concrete floor, walls of concrete and cladding.

A second similarly constructed shed measuring 35.5m by 13.7m has a concrete wall to the rear for wet grain. Other buildings in the range of facilities include a 30.2m by 27.5m concrete portal frame unit built as a cattle shed with lean-tos to either side. There is also a series of traditional out offices and a Dutch barn.

The farm comes with other potential sources of income including full planning permission for three 25m-high 15kw wind turbines. The base foundations for all three are already in place along with a grid connection to the meter house.

There are also potential sites for residential development on the footprint of older buildings throughout the farm. "This farm is unusual in scale," Evelyn Channing explains, "there are not many farms of this size in Aberdeenshire and not many come for sale."

A 528ac estate with €37,000 per annum in EU farm payments is on the market in Aberdeenshire, reports Jim O'Brien

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