New to the market through Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £12.5m (over €14.4m) is 1,045-acre Croston Estate in Lancashire.
According to the selling agent, the property is one of the largest commercial farming estates in the north-west, boasting some of the “most productive soils” in the UK.
The estate sits on the north-eastern edge of the Lancashire Plain. This is an expanse of grade 1 and 2 soils that stretch across a large part of West Lancashire.
“The Croston Estate is a diverse estate offering several different land uses and opportunities, located amongst many of the key producers of horticultural goods and vegetables in the UK.”
Gross income of £158,000 per annum
The vendor is Quantil Agriculture Limited, part of the Quantil group of companies.
In conjunction with additional land at Lathom, the vendor has utilised Croston Estate to grow cereal crops for supplying seed into the company’s mill at Lathom.
In addition to the in-hand farming operations, a large part of the estate has been let on several high-yielding rental and farming contracts to vegetable and salad growers. Over the last four years, crops have included lettuce, radish, carrots, onions, potatoes, and turf.
According to the selling agent, some parts have also been strategically managed for countryside stewardship. Together with the rental income, it provides a gross income of approximately £158,000 per annum (2021 figure).
In addition, to which, of the land let on Farm Business Tenancies, 95% of the tenant’s basic payment income is payable to the landlord.
The Croston Estate is of “a rare scale and ring-fenced layout”. It is located between the villages of Croston and Mawdesley. A network of estate roads, tracks, and the Ormskirk railway line divides it into three parts.
The estate is for sale as a whole or up to five lots, as follows:
- 1: Beech Grove Farm: Three-year-old, 2,000t grain store. Further modern farm buildings and mostly grade 1 peat soils. About 556-acres (225 ha)
- 1A: Beech Grove farmhouse: Four-bedroom detached farmhouse with garden and paddock about 1.4 acres (0.5 ha);
- 2: Moss Farm: A range of farm buildings and Grade 1 arable land, about 149-acres (60 ha);
- 3: Land south of Meadow Lane: A parcel of grade 1 arable and peatland, about 338-acres (137 ha);
- 4: Gate House Cottage: Two-bedroom detached cottage with garden, about 0.5-acre (0.2 ha).
“The Croston Estate is a large, ring-fenced commercial farm situated in West Lancashire, with an intensively farmed and predominantly flat landscape stretching west of the M6 between Preston and the Ribble Estuary in the north and Liverpool and the River Mersey in the south.”
“Moss Farm on the northern boundary of the estate adjoins the historic village of Croston; the estate extends south to Beech Grove Farm at Mawdesley village in the south.”
“Croston is situated on the River Yarrow and is particularly attractive and sought-after owing to its 17th-century historic charm and rural location.”
The village has two convenience stores, a chemist, a coffee shop, pubs, restaurants, a primary school, and a sports club.
Furthermore, Croston railway station is on the Ormskirk line running between Liverpool and Preston.
Leyland and Preston in the north and Ormskirk to the south offer a “larger range of day-to-day needs”. To note, Preston is also on the West Coast Mainline, providing regular rail services to London Euston.
“The estate is highly accessible with its southern boundary and principal farm, Beech Grove Farm, located at Mawdesley, which is some 6 miles from junction 27 of the M6.”