The last decade has seen a tremendous change in rural life and in particular for the farmer. The market place we have all been used to has been swept away and the enterprises that provided the backbone for many farming businesses are no longer viable. Change is therefore inevitable and whilst this can be frightening it can also bring optimism, stimulation and perhaps more importantly, profit.

The term diversification is generally used for the setting up of alternative enterprises which require the basic assets that are widely available on farms, i.e. land, buildings, knowledge of animal or crop husbandry, remote locations and a willingness by the farmers to put in long hours! In general diversification should not be used as a last ditch attempt to stay in business as it requires careful planning, capital, enthusiasm and a period of time to prove itself. The list of successful diversification enterprises is constantly growing, with more farms relying on direct sales to the public, added value products, alternative livestock and crops, or even inviting the public onto the farm for theme parks or play areas based on the farming theme.

Whilst not all enterprises are successful, we have witnessed many dyed-in-the-wool farmers who have successfully moved into exciting projects so that, by running a combination of diverse businesses on their holding, a satisfactory living can been made. Traditionally, diversification has been associated with owner/occupiers, but more enlightened landlords are now allowing tenants to consider alternative options as well. Within every farmstead and within every farm business opportunities do exist, and with grants now available and local planning authorities adopting a more enlightened stance, all possible options should be considered.

Some notable diversification enterprises include Christmas trees, barn conversions, herbs, wild boar, adventure games, clay pigeon shooting, livery stables, riding schools, trekking holidays, bed & breakfast, caravans, holiday cottages, golf courses, water bottling, theme parks, vintage car stores and light industrial units, tourist attractions and forestry.

Symonds & Sampson LLP can assist with:

  • Assessment of diversification proposals
  • Submission of planning applications to local authorities
  • Marketing


Burraton House

Staff Member Position Office Details
Richard  Miller  MRICS FAAV Richard Miller MRICS FAAVView Profile Managing Partner Burraton House
Patrick  Woodford MRICS FAAV Patrick WoodfordMRICS FAAV View Profile Partner Burraton House
Camilla White MRICS FAAV Camilla WhiteMRICS FAAVView Profile Professional Burraton House

Salisbury Office

01722 334323

Staff Member Position Office Details
Philip Pollard FRICS FAAV Philip PollardFRICS FAAVView Profile Partner Salisbury

Sturminster Newton Office

01258 473766

Staff Member Position Office Details
Edward Dyke FRICS FAAV Edward DykeFRICS FAAVView Profile Partner Sturminster Newton
Paul Dallyn FRICS FAAV Paul DallynFRICS FAAVView Profile Consultant Sturminster Newton
Tel: 01258 472244 Email Paul vCard for Paul

Wimborne Office

01202 843190

Staff Member Position Office Details
Andrew Robinson BSc FRICS FAAV Andrew RobinsonBSc FRICS FAAV View Profile Senior Partner Wimborne
Andrew (A-J) Monro BSc MRICS FAAV Andrew (A-J) MonroBSc MRICS FAAVView Profile Partner Wimborne

Yeovil Office

01935 423526

Staff Member Position Office Details
Andrew Booth MRICS FAAV Andrew BoothMRICS FAAV View Profile Consultant Yeovil


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