NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: New to small holding advice on grazing licence  (Read 381 times)


  • Joined Oct 2019
New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« on: October 16, 2019, 01:43:07 pm »
Hi everyone. Just joined. I am just about to embark on the smallholding lifestyle. I have bought a 2-acre field and cottage in country. I am looking for advice on setting up a grazing license with local who would like to graze sheep in field. What do I need?
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 01:07:47 pm »
Hi Mrowe, and welcome to TAS from a very showery Somerset. :wave:

I have not had any experience of grazing licences but I expect someone will be along shortly with the right answer.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 01:54:57 pm »
It's more a contract than a license, and usually runs from some archaic time like Lammas to Michaelmas.  Your solicitor could arrange it for you, or your local agricultural mart, which often also deal in land rentals.  It's certainly a good idea to have a contract, as the grazer has rights and you also have rights to get them off when you want the field yourself.  Make sure you mention fence maintenance, pasture care and include a clause that says the animals grazing must have been appropriately wormed, etc, or your land could end up dirty by the time you want to keep your own livestock.  Avoid horses as they wreck the ground!

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 01:58:06 pm »
Welcome from an equally showery north Cornwall :wave:

Firstly, the country you are in might affect the answer.  ;)

Your local Agri estate agent will probably have proformas you can have for a small consideration. 

The most important thing is to make it not year-round, or rights may accrue.  (This is the case in England anyway, can’t speak for Wales or Scotland.).  If it’s fenced, shall you maintain the fencing or shall the grazier? Ditto water supply - and do you need to charge for water used?  Whose responsibility are escaped animals?(Make sure it’s the grazier’s!).  Do you want to specify a minimum sward length?  Or a maximum or maximum headage?  Will you be checking the animals each day, or is that the grazier’s responsibility?  Do you need rights to have the field vacated for any reason with reasonable notice?  Do you want to stipulate that the animals are kept free of worms and other parasites, or do you want the grazier to avoid using chemicals?  Ditto in terms of weed control.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 03:54:41 pm »
Are you sure the person offering to rent it wants to enter into such a formal arrangement involving contracts, solicitors etc etc.

If your moving in soonish the grass won't grow much over the winter and by the spring you might like to have your own livestock. If you rent it out you won't be able to have the enjoyment of walking dogs in it etc. If your dead set on renting it out now I would stipulate a fixed period and say you would need it back on ' date' so the person would know that it would not be a long term arrangement. If you found the arrngement suited you both you can just extend it.


  • Joined Oct 2019
Re: New to small holding advice on grazing licence
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2019, 10:51:59 am »
thanks for the reply!
I have a lot of work to do on the house before we can move in so am happy to have someone keep the grass down till next winter. I will contact the local animal mart and check what they have.
thanks again


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