Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Help / Advice - Please!  (Read 1697 times)


  • Joined May 2018
Help / Advice - Please!
« on: May 12, 2018, 09:28:10 pm »
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the site after long and hard searching for answers.
In short, my family (wife and young daughter) are tired of the rushed city life that we lead. Both of us grew up in the smallholding / farming business but ended up desk sitting in London for many years. Since having our daughter one thing has struck us, and thats the want for for our daughter to experience what we did growing up - mucking around in mud, growing veg, playing with animals but also the important of understanding where all our food comes from. One of my fondest memories was picking wild fruit and veg and going into the farm kitchen with my mum to explore all these news tastes.
For the last 6 or so months we have desperately been searching for a smallholding / small farm to rent for a long time where we can start to make all our dreams come true. Living off the land, running farm shop, growing and rearing all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
We live in hertfordshire and have found either the local council or the estate agents to be nothing less than useless in helping us for our search, even though we have been approved for a substantial grant from the government to get our dream up and running. I've even contacted the councils of Surrey and Kent where we grew up.
Does anyone have any inside knowledge / websites / tips, tricks and advice to help us get on the way?
Thank you in advance


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 11:10:35 am »
Smallholding rentals are few and far between ....  it may take time .....  hang in there :)     have you considered WOOFing or hELPx    to dabble a bit more when you can ... and make more contacts in the smallholding world.

I would also suggest you change your subject to 'searching for  smallholding to rent'....will encourage those with interest to open post.

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
Nantygroes  facebook page


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 05:55:59 pm »
We started with an allotment, then took on a second one.  This gave us the space to grow enough to feed a family of four, and the opportunity to hone/develop our growing skills.  If there are huge waits for allotments in your area, you may be lucky enough to find a 'garden share scheme', where you agree to cultivate their garden for someone who has a large garden but either doesn't have the time, or because of age or infirmity can no longer manage the work themselves.  You then share the produce with them, and undertake to keep the garden tidy.

We were lucky enough to be in the housing market already, so that when, after many years of searching, we finally found this place, we were able to sell up and buy it, then move in straight away.  That is buying; we didn't see any smallholdings to rent during our search.  There have been a few sad tales here on TAS of private tenants suddenly being required to move out, and struggling to find land to house their animals while they restart their search.

The thing about smallholding is that there's the romantic childhood memory of balmy days on the farm, harvesting veg, playing in the fields and scratching the pigs' ears, but the reality is something else - it's a whole lot of hard work.  The idea to try WOOFing or HELPX, where you spend some weekends on other's smallholding helping and learning the realities of smallholding life, is an excellent one.  You begin to learn how long it takes to do a job - always longer than you estimate - and how strong and fit you need to be.

I so understand your desire to get started right now, but have a think about the points I've made and see if a compromise couldn't work for you while you get to the point where you could afford to buy your ideal place.

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined May 2018
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 08:43:14 pm »
thank you both for your words and advice - ive been doing woofing for a little while now to try and keep the bug of wanting more at bay - but it seemed to only ignite it further.

i defiantly agree with you - we are nearly in the position to buy - so thats some great advice - sit tight and wait for the right place to come along

thank you so much

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 11:25:47 pm »
Can't help but wanted to say HI  :wave: and wish you well.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 08:56:50 am »
Like MGM, just wanted to say  :wave: and that I'm  :fc: for you.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 12:01:57 pm »
Welcome Hen88 and good luck with your search, don't know what your area is like, but try advertising for a garden share somehow? Or check with allotments to see if you are allowed to share with someone?


  • Joined May 2018
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 01:01:15 pm »
thank you everyone - Hi - sorry for the slow response - i though i would get an email when you had all nicely replied - the search is still continuing and i won't give up - thank you for the advice in garden share - great idea

Thanks all and i hope you are all doing well


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • North Lincolnshire
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 01:20:47 pm »
Hi, We used to live in Derbyshire but found renting impossible and buy too expensive. So contacted Rural Scene they were very helpful, not sure if they do properties to rent, but they found us a fantastic property in North Lincolnshire which was half the price of similar propeties we had been looking at in Derbyshire and the surrounding counties. Give them a try nothing to lose. Good Luck.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 02:07:58 pm »
If you are almost in a position to buy that would be ideal. We moved to Norfolk to find somewhere we could afford. And rather than looking for advertised smallholdings we searched on rightmove etc for anything with acre in the description.
The place we bought was a v run down bungalow with 3 acres that had been empty for 2 years and was v neglected - almost uninhabitable but v cheap.  Now 3 yrs on, it’s a lovely little home. I sell veg boxes and have chucks and a few sheep. I work half time which seems like easy money in comparison - they pay me to sit on my bum - which makes for a v nice rest.
Good luck searching and keep an open mind. ????


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 02:08:19 pm »
Have you thought about looking into crofting. Would be a huge move for you but a better life for all the family. Crofts do come up for rent so might be worth looking into.


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 02:22:17 pm »
Hi. You were a bit vague on what you are looking for and how you are funding it. So this may or may not be relevant. I am just outside Herts. Herts is not smallholding or even small farm country land is far too valuables and arable so farms tend to be big. But there are some good allotments in many places.  Some local authorities still have farm tenancies for smaller farms.  Can't recall if Herts does.  I think Cambridge for one does. So make enquiries at other surrounding counties. Kent is less good for small holdings than it looks, for similar reasons to Herts. Norfolk and Suffolk (fenland) and parts of Essex are more likely to have smallholding size enterprises for sale. But finding something that is 'affordable' and also has a suitable site for a farm shop (I.e. Local and passing trade) is like hens teeth. Good luck.


  • Joined Jul 2016
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 03:44:13 pm »
Have you had any luck.
I live in Hertfordshire and I haven't seen much in smallholding options. I think it is because people are moving out in to herts to commute to London.


  • Joined May 2018
  • Essex
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 12:59:52 pm »
Hi, hello

First we bought an acre little plot, which we used as an allotment, I had livestock on it and grew veg and fruit, it was about 3 miles from our house, so we were up there twice a day for years, but I have always wanted to live onsite, so when our, now home, came up for sale we were thankfully in a position to buy it, we have only moved in 3 weeks ago and loving it!! hard work, but well worth it in the end  :thumbsup: it all goes well for you, just keep looking!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 01:18:43 pm by Bobie »


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Help / Advice - Please!
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 08:10:01 pm »
Another thought while you're waiting - is there a local CSA (community supported agriculture) scheme, where you volunteer for various things in order to "earn" produce? Would give some variety and more networking perhaps.


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