How to find sheep grazing

countrylad

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Kelso, Scotland
Possibly a daft question, but I’d like to get some answers from my favourite source of daft answers!
As you’ve probably realised if you’ve seen my profile before, I’m a fairly small “farm”. I’m looking to do an expansion of my little flock as rapidly as possible. Meaning I’ll be wanting to take on more and more grazing year on year.
Currently all my grazing is fairly close together, and sourced through friends and family. I seem to have fairly exhausted my efforts with this now, and apart from chapping on doors I’m not sure what the best method of find grazing is? How did you find your land? Passed down from generations past? None of my family farm, not sure where I got the genes from!
 

delilah

Member
Tell the estate agents who sell the premium properties in your area. You would be surprised at the number of people who buy a big house with a few acres and don't know what to do with the land, your service can actually be part of the sales pitch for a selling agent.
 

HolzKopf

Member
Location
Kent&Snuffit
I agree with @Little squeak , it depends where you are. Down here in the soft south, many urbo residents that have 'country houses' with land often have several acre 'paddocks' with access and water. We used to have ewes on land in the village, the new owners used to sit by the fenceline on summer evenings with a glass of wine in hand watching the 'countryside'. That was fine until their dogs started roaming free.....

Providing it's fenced, if you spot some acreage, drop a note through the door, put a small enquiry in the parish mag (usually free) or drink in the pub (when we can). Unless they've got kiddos, they'll soon realise that horses are a pain and that their half a dozen acres that was a buying point in their house purchase will become a pain in the neck.

Our former provider (with the dogs) now either gets a local contractor to top it off or spends week-ends on his ride on, riding round in circles trying to mow his status symbol.

Round here there's plenty of takers and we've chosen a couple of nice parcels to 'rent' for not much to supplement our own acreage. You might even get to make some hay. Mind you summer drought and cold and wet winters and spring doesn't do much for trying to get the grass to grow in front of them

HK
 

countrylad

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Kelso, Scotland
I agree with @Little squeak , it depends where you are. Down here in the soft south, many urbo residents that have 'country houses' with land often have several acre 'paddocks' with access and water. We used to have ewes on land in the village, the new owners used to sit by the fenceline on summer evenings with a glass of wine in hand watching the 'countryside'. That was fine until their dogs started roaming free.....

Providing it's fenced, if you spot some acreage, drop a note through the door, put a small enquiry in the parish mag (usually free) or drink in the pub (when we can). Unless they've got kiddos, they'll soon realise that horses are a pain and that their half a dozen acres that was a buying point in their house purchase will become a pain in the neck.

Our former provider (with the dogs) now either gets a local contractor to top it off or spends week-ends on his ride on, riding round in circles trying to mow his status symbol.

Round here there's plenty of takers and we've chosen a couple of nice parcels to 'rent' for not much to supplement our own acreage. You might even get to make some hay. Mind you summer drought and cold and wet winters and spring doesn't do much for trying to get the grass to grow in front of them

HK
Thank you, I spoke to a man with a country house. 24 acres of grazing to let. Split into 12 acre fields. Thought it looked decent, fencing was okay. £113/ac and the grazing was only for March-November. If anyone can turn a profit on that with sheep then I’ll eat my hat!

EDIT: I also checked the fields on a map and they only amount to 20 acres!
 

HolzKopf

Member
Location
Kent&Snuffit
tbh I'm not talking about 'renting' or grazing licence etc, I'm thinking it should be quid pro quo. Urbo gets to look at the woolies and their lambs if that's what you do, he feels he belongs, gets his paddock mown, and you get your grazing and perhaps some lookering. Depending on numbers if something for the freezer comes his way that's good for him.

I certainly would not pay through the nose for grazing - why?
 

Durham part-timer

Member
Livestock Farmer
I can sympathise with you there, it’s not easy setting out from scratch, I ended up taking grass parks and then the odd acre here and there from someone who has brought a house with a few acres.

I often found them more hassle though, as they’d get greedy and want top dollar, they’d also be on the phone as soon as something started limping.

Best thing to do is speak to a few local land agents or mart auctioneers, normally around now before people get sorted for grass from this coming spring! Also pay on time and you’ll be suprised how many come back to you offering other bits as and when they come up...! Good luck.
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
I often found them more hassle though, as they’d get greedy and want top dollar, they’d also be on the phone as soon as something started limping
I find it’s not so much “often” as “always”. I’ve only got 1 of them left now, kept letting them go. And last spring I managed too talk him out of his “i’m told it’s worth £120/acre” idea. 6 acre fields of which only 4 are flat enough too drive a tractor on aren’t worth £120/acre. Especially when you put your little solar panel installation for the house right in the middle of the biggest workable area and don’t even have it square too the fence! So I’ve a diamond shaped obstruction in the middle of a 3 acre plot. 🤔🤔

I wish you the best of luck but I find the big houses idea best left too those silly enough too pay through the nose for a bit of the “good life” while heavily subsidised by their day job. There’s a constant stream of them round here. I’ve sold breeding stock too quite a few of them. Bought most of it back after 3/4 years.
On one occasion Trading standards called me in too come and load up one persons flock and the instructions were “do what you can with this lot”. Jesus that was messed up. Sheep that thin they could barely walk, 4 year old wethers, when the ewes started lambing I’ve never seen such strange lambs.

But within 2 months the landowner was on the phone, “I’m told you picked up X’s sheep. Do you want the land again? I can let you have it at £115 the same as X was paying!!!

What do we think boys and girls?? 😂😂
 

toquark

Member
Give your location, have you tried Roxburgh or Lothian estates? I know one or two tenants on each who both have nice smallish farms which they run along side a day job. Both are new entrants.

I would echo the feelings of others re houses with a few acres,and I say that as someone with a house with land.

We rent winter grazing from a nearby dairy farm who are happy to have the sheep to clean up and tightenup the grass during the winter. That dramatically allows us to up numbers without taking on a permanent lease or buy land.
 
Location
Ceredigion
Thank you, I spoke to a man with a country house. 24 acres of grazing to let. Split into 12 acre fields. Thought it looked decent, fencing was okay. £113/ac and the grazing was only for March-November. If anyone can turn a profit on that with sheep then I’ll eat my hat!

EDIT: I also checked the fields on a map and they only amount to 20 acres!
Thats about the going rate
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Knock on doors & have a card with contact details to hand---it's worked for me
Until recently i had about 200 acres rent free ----150 in one block
Don't pay ---if they need something give them some lamb, small pieces aren't worth a damn and lamb reared on their paddock goes much further than cash
 

surreyhillsjacob

Member
Livestock Farmer
I have a number of small parcels around a village that bascially came to me after topping one small field as a favour and then asking about grazing going forward. Luckly i then had their neighbours on the phone asking if i wanted to graze their paddocks as well. The big issue / challenge is fencing and constantly running electric fency around !

I always offer them some lamb and they all seem very grateful!
 

In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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