County farms estate
The estate, which is managed under statutory smallholdings provisions, currently extends to approximately 11,182.5 acres (4525.4 hectares), which is split into 104 holdings.
The holdings are let as equipped farms, which in this context means that the tenancy includes land, farm buildings and dwelling house. Buildings are suitable for the farming of the holding, although tenants may add to these with their own investment. The tenant provides the livestock, machinery and other fixtures and fittings necessary to run the farm.
Holdings prior to 1995 were let on a mixture of lifetime and working life tenancies. All holdings let since 1995 are let on fixed term farm business tenancies.
The county farms
The farms on the estate are split into several categories. The main distinctions are between stock and dairy farms and between starter and progressional holdings. Typically starter stock rearing farms will be in the region of 70 to 120 acres and in the current climate are not expected to be the tenant's sole or main source of income. Progression stock rearing farms are usually in excess of 150 acres.
Starter dairy farms are let with a target of 80 acres of land and 300,000 litres of milk quota, while the progression dairy farms have over 100 acres with 400,000 litres of milk quota. Dairy farming is still the predominant business activity on the estate, accounting for 56% of the holdings.
In addition to traditional stock and dairy farms the estate has several smallholdings of about 20 acres which are let for rural business opportunities such as equestrian and horticulture.