Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Land size for smallholding  (Read 5504 times)

Springbeans

  • Joined Sep 2019
Land size for smallholding
« on: December 28, 2019, 07:36:40 am »
Hi I'm new to all this, I introduced myself when I joined but been awol for a while.

I'm considering buying some land so I can move out of the city and have something of my own. I've read online that land size for a smallholding is between one and 50 acres?

My question is what if its smaller than that? Is a smallholding strictly categorised as such if its minimum 1 acre and maximum 50 or is that a general figure? Is there an actual limit on the size of a smallholding and what is it? I'm specifically interested in what the minimum size would be..

Thanks in advance :wave:



Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 08:48:05 am »
There's no legal definition of a small holding so no specified areas. For some purposes - planning, for example, a holding has to be more than 0.04ha / 1 acre for the agricultural regs to be applied.

Something to bear in mind is access to government support - it might not be an issue now but might be in the future -although none of us can see the future. Currently, to qualify for government support, you need to farm a minimum of 3ha of ELIGIBLE LAND in Scotland and 5ha in England. Eligible land doesn't include water courses, hard standing, buildings or woodland (I think) - basically cultivatable land.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 01:05:04 pm »
As Rosemary says, but also it seems to be more of a mentality than a legal definition.  If you think you have a smallholding, rather than just a large garden, then you probably have one. Usually even a small smallholding has a few animals such as laying hens, rabbits for meat, maybe a couple of pigs, plus of course vegetables, fruit, salads and herbs.  The difference between a large garden, an allotment, and an actual smallholding is a very wiggly line.
Looked at from another angle, a smallholding is the size you personally need to carry out the smallholdingy things you want to do.
Everyone on TAS has different acreages, for example we have 9 acres, on which we keep a smallish flock of breeding sheep, geese, laying hens, vegetables, fruit, salads, herbs, wood for fuel (also for shelter and wildlife and wild fruit and nuts).  We don't have room for cattle, we had pigs for a while, no goats  :'( , we don't have room to grow cereal crops but we do make our own hay for winter feed for the sheep.  For us, our smallholding is the ideal size and that's what you need to aim for.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 01:52:23 pm »
I think you need to be a registered smallholding depending on what animals you wish to keep.

A domestic house owner who would like a micro pig, would have to register their property as a smallholding, then register for a herd number for the pig.

A person running a 100 acre livery yard would not automatically need to be registered as a smallholding because he did not keep any livestock.


doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 03:41:46 pm »
I think you need to be a registered smallholding depending on what animals you wish to keep.

A domestic house owner who would like a micro pig, would have to register their property as a smallholding, then register for a herd number for the pig.

A person running a 100 acre livery yard would not automatically need to be registered as a smallholding because he did not keep any livestock.



You need to apply for a CPH (a county parish holding number), You then have a smallholding.; and as bj says you need a herd number once you get any  4 legged animals.   They need individual tags. If you have 50 birds of any kind you need to register with Defra.  Other than that there are no set rules that I know of except as Rosemary says if you want to take advantage of any grants etc
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2019, 05:20:56 pm »

This is one of the problems with smallholding - there isn't an accepted definition of what is or is not a smallholding (whereas there is with say a croft).

a smallholding is the size you personally need to carry out the smallholdingy things you want to do.


.... and sometimes we have to compromise and not do some smallholdingy things we would like to do because we don't have enough land.


Springbeans - the first thing to do is to figure out what type of thing you want to do, and on what scale. That will then tell you how much land you need, and TBH that in itself will probably tell you where it will need to be!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2019, 09:44:51 pm »
Personally I think, more than anything else, it depends on where you want to or have to live and what you can afford in that area - bearing in mind it is almost impossible to get loans/mortgages on land
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Springbeans

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2019, 09:58:49 pm »
Thank you all for the advice :thumbsup:

Womble I won't be keeping animals, I'm vegetarian leaning towards veganism so I dont eat meat and couldn't contribute to it's production for personal reasons, every other use of land is considered. So far I've come up with growing herbs? I like herbs and they grow fast, but I'm open to other suggestions... I'm thinking of taking a short horticulture course to familiarise myself with the process once I've decided what it is I will use the land for.

Rosemary 5ha is over 12acres, I cant afford that much land at present, what type of goverment support would I be looking at? Is it mandatory like planning permission and such? Does the minimum 1acre include any buildings such as a caravan mobile home etc or is it only the land being cultivated?

Also if I grow herbs what's the minimum land I need to plant on? Will I need a business plan for permission to do this and would I get permission to live on site in a mobile home or is that only given if people keep animals?

I live in London and any land I buy will likely be in the surrounding areas, an hours drive at most from the city.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2019, 10:46:12 pm »
So are you meaning that you want to set up a smallholding as a money making business?  That's rather different to a 'lifestyle' smallholding, where you want to live the life for its own sake.
I would think that on a business scale, an acre of herbs would be enough to supply restaurants and small shops, but research your market first.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Springbeans

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2019, 04:52:11 am »
Fleecewife it's primarily as a lifestyle I think, I really just want to get out of the city, its far too expensive to buy a property here and the high rents are taking the majority of my wages and leaving me with nothing after bills etc, I can't see a way out unless I buy my own property somehow as I'm tired of giving all my wages to landlords here yr after yr.

I've also grown tired of the fast pace of life, the noise traffic over-population pollution crime everything, I'd love nothing more than to live in the countryside surrounded by nature space peace and quiet.

So I looked into buying a piece of land, however small, to start off the transition from city to countryside. I figured I could get somewhere on the outskirts of the city and put a mobile home on my land and start living there, even start growing my own food for personal use, and continue working in the city, it seemed a solid plan until I realised I couldn't live on the land without permission even if I owned it, and eventually found out registering it as a smallholding would be the best way to go about that if I've not the money to build a house on it straight away and could only start off with a little piece of land and a mobile home.

I then found out to register as a smallholding I have to use the land in some way to produce an income, hence looking at growing herbs or anything else, I'm open to suggestions, I'd like to keep working in the city at least part time however, I've debts to pay off so can't stop doing that until I'm in the clear as it's a more sure income than if I'm starting a smallholding that hasn't yet gotten off the ground.

I'm new to all this but very serious about it, I do love the countryside and would be happy growing herbs if it gets me living on my own land, just don't know too much of the red tape right now however.

Does anyone know how much land would I have to cultivate and how much income would I have to produce to get permission to live on my land? Also would I get permission for a mobile home if I'm growing herbs? If not what would I need to grow to justify my living on it? I know keeping animals would do it but is there anything I could grow?

Sorry for the lengthy post I hope you guys like reading  ;D




bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2019, 06:41:02 am »
I then found out to register as a smallholding I have to use the land in some way to produce an income,

Does anyone know how much land would I have to cultivate and how much income would I have to produce to get permission to live on my land?

I think your advice is mistaken, as previously said, to register an address as a smallholding you you don't need to use the land to produce any sort of income at all. Most people who own smallholdings do so because of the lifestyle it gives you. Very few of us actually make an income from it. In fact, many of us have work to pay for the privilage of having a smallholding and the costs of keeping livestock.

There are several threads on here about people who would like to buy land put a caravan on it and live on it, or even stay a few weeks a year. Its a fairly common 'goal' and I'm afraid planning rules are there to prevent this from happening. People can't just buy a patch of land and tick a few boxes and live on it I'm afraid.

Good luck with your dream though, do plenty of research before commiting yourself financially, many of us have moved from the city and would never go back :)

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2019, 07:49:45 am »
In the UK we had just 2000m2 (Ĺ acre), but needed a CPH number for the two lambs and Defra registration for the 76 chickens. There were 20 fruit trees and a large vegetable plot. We sold cherries and eggs to cover some of our running costs, but never made a profit as such as we consumed the veg and some of the eggs. I worked out that the payback on our labour was 20p per hour. The land was completely flat, well drained and extremely fertile which made it all possible. So how much land you need will depend on its quality Springbeans and making any kind of profit is highly unlikely, the reward is in eating your own produce knowing that it grew without chemicals and that the welfare standards of the livestock were of the highest possible level.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2019, 08:03:56 am »
Iíd be very surprised if you would be given permission to live on the land if you didnít have animals. They are a tie to the land and need round the clock care at certain times of year whereas a herb garden or allotment  can certainly be left alone without welfare implications.

Goatherd

  • Joined Dec 2014
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2019, 08:36:42 am »

  Don,t be misled by the comment about animals  Having animals will not get you permision to live on your
   land think of all the sheep on the hills and cattle on the moors also the new forest animals they are all checked
   on but no one is going to get to build a house with them

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Land size for smallholding
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2019, 12:26:39 pm »
Thinking about your problem a bit more widely (and I'm absolutely with you on the desperate need to get out of the city and onto your own land to GROW something  :garden: )  would it be at all possible for you to work elsewhere, a different city or town?  I ask because London is a place where picking up any land for a song just isn't going to happen.  You would have to have your land so far out that travel would then swallow up all your money and time if you continued to work in the capital.  There are however other places where the cost of land and housing are more affordable, but the reason for that is less work available.  So if you could earn a crust by working online then that would work, or if your work is something you can do almost anywhere, then your options are much greater.


Most people on TAS (apart from the 'accidental' ones) had to wait for quite a while before they could move away from city life, waiting until their finances were right, or their families were at the right stage, or until an appropriate place came up for sale.  It was the same for us and we looked at so many possibles before we found our 'forever home'.  I understand the need to get started and the irresistible need to grow.  Have you tried to get an allotment?  I expect there is a very long waiting list in London though.  There are many pitfalls to avoid in acquiring land, the main one being that you don't want to start out your new life in debt for its purchase, or the need to pay off that debt by the fruits of your labours can stop you enjoying what you are doing.  So you have a lot of research to do yet, but keep dreaming  :thumbsup:


This little clip will only be available for a day or two:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-50866760/gardening-gives-me-a-lot-of-peace
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 12:38:41 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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