Lettings auctioneers report rise in value of grazing marshes

Cattle grazing on Haddiscoe Island close to St Olaves. Picture: James Bass

Cattle grazing on Haddiscoe Island close to St Olaves. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

The average value of grazing land near The Broads has recovered to more 'sustainable' levels, according to property agents involved in the annual marsh lettings.

Two auctions were held at The Bell Inn at St Olaves, between Great Yarmouth and Beccles, giving graziers the chance to secure grassland to use throughout the summer months.

The first, run by agents TW Gaze on Tuesday, let 800 acres on Haddiscoe Island, with a top price of £90 per acre, and an average of £62 per acre – up £6 from last year.

Rural business director Rachael Hipperson said: 'Trade was keen and everything sold.

'The average was just under £62 per acre. I feel that is a fair outcome for both owners and hirers. Last year it was £56 per acre, but the year before that was £108.

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'We had prices which were not sustainable a few years ago but it has levelled out.'

The sought-after grazing land on Haddiscoe Island, bounded by the Yare and Waveney rivers and the New Cut, attracted hirers from across Norfolk as well as from as far afield as Essex and Kent.

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The following day, at the same venue, property agents Durrants drew a similarly diverse crowd of bidders for its annual marsh letting, with 900 acres available on a seasonal grazing licence from April 1 to October 31.

The company reported a change from recent years, with only marshes that could be grazed by cattle being auctioned. Good grazing marshes at Haddiscoe made between £52 and £58 per acre, at an average of £56.75 – up £7.75 on last year.

Marshes at Burgh St Peter made £40, up £12 since the previous year, while marshes at Worlingham of variable quality made £20 per acre.

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