Warland Stable

While returning from shepherding, last Sunday, Monica and I met Marie at the ramshackle stables up the road from here. Just by chance, we discovered that she and her husband own the thirty acres that were sold off from Warland Farm in the forties, and that they’re putting it up for auction in June. We believe it includes:

  • Warland Water between the moor and the snake, including the mill race
  • the quarry and the slope south of it
  • twelve acres of fallow land
  • twelve acres of over-grazed pasture
  • a brown-field site with caravans upon it that should get permission for a dwelling or two
  • the stables and sheds, though it’s unlikely they have planning permission
  • lots of potential for wind, water and solar power generation
  • lots of potential for firewood and timber growth

The problems with it are:

  • it needs paths cut
  • it needs fences to manage the pasture
  • it may be too high for trees
  • their idea for a hydro scheme didn’t work out
  • the pasture needs time to recover before it can be grazed
  • the stream may have Waterways covenants that prevent hydro schemes

Now, this is a challenge because we could afford to put the farm back together but it would take time, strength, cash and patience away from the portfolio of projects that we have already mapped out and budgeted for. We have to consider whether we can and should invest in the land in order to make a real return. Our superannuation scheme could purchase it from us but only when an income is certain; we don’t want an illiquid asset when we need cash in our old age.

We’re trying to be objective and have asked Matt Taylor, a forester, to assess the timber potential and Monica will engage an agent to value the land.

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