Innovative and progressive farmer sought to take on unique rural business in stunning East Devon

The search is on for an innovative farmer with the inspiration and energy to embark on a once-in-a-generation tenancy opportunity in East Devon.

Candidates are being asked to take a rather unusual approach to their application, by recording a 60 second film explaining why they would be the best tenant for the Clinton Devon Estates-owned Dalditch Farm, which stretches across 237 acres of stunning countryside between the Jurassic Coast at Budleigh Salterton and the Pebblebed Heaths National Nature Reserve.

Formerly home to a small-scale organic in-hand dairy operation, Dalditch is being offered to someone who wants to take the next exciting step in their farming career.

Clinton Devon Estates Director John Varley, said: “We are looking for a long term relationship with tenants who have the energy, innovation and enthusiasm to open up a world of opportunity at Dalditch Farm. That may be through traditional or new farming methods that balance food production with the needs of nature and biodiversity, or perhaps it’s through diversification, taking the farm in a new and exciting direction.

“Whatever the vision, we will support the tenants to help them deliver their objectives while ensuring they meet the needs of both the environment and the wider community. We are looking for tenants who are a perfect fit for the farm and part of the selection process will be the video in which they will have just 60 seconds to tell us why this opportunity is right for them.”

The Estate is looking for a farmer who will embrace the changes occurring in agriculture and demonstrate innovation and resilience in a sustainable farming business. A business model that can produce food profitably, whilst also improving the quality of the environment for nature and for people.

They will need to share the Estate’s vision for the farm, capitalising on the very special location and diversification opportunities including tourism and the environment.

Farming tenancies with the Estate very rarely arise – the most recent in 2017 was the first in 20 years – making this a rare opportunity to really make a positive difference.

Whatever innovative business plan the new tenants wish to pursue, they must demonstrate a commitment to the Estate’s core values of sustainability and stewardship of the land. There is no requirement to continue to farm organically, although the new tenants’ business venture must bring benefits to the land and its wildlife, as well as to both the local community and visitors.

Located in the village of Knowle on the outskirts of Budleigh Salterton, Dalditch Farm has a traditional, four-bedroom farmhouse with a range of associated, fully equipped farm buildings and an easily accessible yard.

The farm has a long-term association with the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme and also supports the annual Kingfisher Scheme, providing a chance for schoolchildren to explore and learn about the countryside. It also plays a role in water management via Knowle Brook, that runs past the farm.

The Estate hopes to repeat its success of letting Stantyway Farm near Otterton in 2017.

Clinton Devon Estates Surveyor Clare James, said: “Stantyway Farm has been a real success story in the way tenants Sam and Nell Walker have been able to maintain the farming tradition and support our ethos of conservation and stewardship of the land.

“We will obviously be looking to the new tenants of Dalditch Farm to be aware of the bigger environmental picture and we will support them in meeting those requirements, alongside creating a thriving business for the future.”           

The Estate is planning to let the farm from March 2023(or earlier by agreement). Viewing days will be taking place, strictly by appointment, on Wednesday 13th July and Thursday 14th of July. Tenancy hopefuls will then be asked to submit their one-minute film explaining why the opportunity is right for them.

Full details on how to apply can be found here and Friday 19th August is the closing date for tenders.