Grazing marsh prices on the rise at Haddiscoe Island, say auctioneers

PUBLISHED: 14:39 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 23 March 2018

Cattle on grazing marshes in the Broads.  Picture: James Bass

Cattle on grazing marshes in the Broads. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

The value of grazing land in the Broads has risen “considerably” in the last year, according to auctioneers after their annual marsh lettings.

Rural business agents TW Gaze auctioned about 750 acres of land for the 2018 grazing season, mostly on Haddiscoe Island near Beccles.

Rachael Hipperson, the firm’s rural business director, said: “Every lot offered by auctioneer Edward Baskerville sold and the overall average for the Island marshes was just over £100 per acre – up considerably on last year’s average of £87 per acre.

“Grazing on the Island was only offered for cattle graziers (not sheep or horses) and those from within a low TB risk area. The hirers were mostly locally known farmers from Norfolk and Suffolk but there was also repeat buying from Kent and fresh local interest.”

Prices varied from £70/acre up to a top bid of £176 per acre, paid for a marsh belonging to Askew Marshes Partnership. The highest overall owner average was achieved by Starston Farms of just below £113 per acre for 60 acres.

Before the sale began, a minute silence was observed in memory of the late marshman Bob Mace, who died in 2017.

The following day, fellow rural agency Durrants also held its marsh lettings at the Bell Inn in St Olaves, selling 230 acre of land, with a further 120 acres let prior to the auction.

Director Nicholas Rudge said: “The top prices were about £100 up on last year, so we are very pleased with the result.

“We had new graziers coming in, people from Norfolk and Suffolk who are new entrants to farming or looking for more grass.”

Mr Rudge said prices for marshes at Haddiscoe topped at £170 per acre, while Norton Subcourse made £68 per acre, and Burgh St Peter £52 per acre. there was less competition on the poorer quality marshes, with some unlet.”

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