roland bull
Partner, Head of Rural Investment

Roland is a Chartered Surveyor, Fellow of The Association of Agricultural Valuers, and Chartered Environmentalist.

Roland leads the Rural Investment team at Bidwells, which provides a comprehensive management services on >£1bn of rural investment property.

Roland is responsible for the management of a large and diverse portfolio of property (primarily agricultural, with some residential, commercial, and telecoms interests), for both institutional investors and private clients. The management role involves the provision of strategic investment advice on a wide range of matters including: acquisitions and disposals; lease arrangements; and developments.

Roland undertakes a variety of professional work, in particular: valuations; purchase and sale; managing building projects; planning and development; tax advice; grant applications; environmental land management; agricultural lettings and rent reviews; advising on covenants and overage; and a range of landlord and tenant work.

He has been involved with the appraisal and acquisition of substantial and diverse rural property investments, along with the formulation and implementation of appropriate management strategies.

Roland acts as an expert witness in relation to agriculture, land management and ecology matters and has presented evidence under written representations, at informal hearings, and at public inquiry.

Roland is the lead Partner responsible for the provision if management services and strategic advice to seven Cambridge Colleges, The Wellcome Trust, and several landed families. He is a trusted adviser to and has been granted power of attorney by a number of High Net Worth private clients.

He obtained an IOSH ‘Managing Safely’ certificate and has implemented new procedures for the management of rural properties, to ensure compliance with best practice and minimise clients’ Health and Safety liabilities.

Having studied Ecology and Environmental Management as an undergraduate, Roland has led work on Agri-Environment Schemes and the management of ecologically important and environmentally sensitive habitats.

Roland has set up dozens of Higher Level Stewardship agreements, ranging in size from under 5 acres to over 2,000. He has been involved with the restoration and management of a number of challenging and complex wildlife sites. Roland has an on-going direct management role on more than 20 HLS agreements, many of which cover designated sites. Roland has extensive experience of balancing competing interests in land management and conservation projects.

His understanding and experience of ecological objectives, the economics of land management, policy and regulatory issues, and practical delivery, has helped achieve successful outcomes on a number of challenging conservation projects, acting for both private landowners and charities.

Roland has recently completed a Masters in Real Estate Finance at the University of Cambridge.


Recent projects

Portfolio Management

Lead Partner providing strategic oversight on the delivery of a comprehensive management service to the Wellcome Trust on c£300m of rural investment property

Lead Partner in respect of seven Cambridge College rural investment portfolios, including the c£120m Trinity College rural portfolio 

Biodiversity Offsetting

Leading a team which delivered the first successful planning consent using Biodiversity Offsetting in the Essex pilot scheme and one of the first nationally. Responsible for: identifying an appropriate site; negotiating the terms for the management contract and associated finances; and providing expert evidence at the appeal inquiry. 

Wetland SSSI Restoration

Representing the owner of a SSSI facing enforcement action in liaising with Natural England and other government agencies. Working to overcome numerous challenges to reintroduce cattle onto the site for the first time in over 50 years.

Implementation of a program of capital works including extensive scrub clearance and fencing.

Comprehensive on-going management of the site, which is now in favorable condition.

Motorway Service Area Development

Negotiating terms for an option and lease for the development of a large Motorway Service Area

Providing strategic advice in relation to the impact on wider development interests and appraising the returns relative to other forms of land use and development.

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