Rural Outlook | 2024

Welcome to the 2024 edition of Rural Outlook. This edition sets out some of the key opportunities which are available to landowners and gives our thoughts and ideas as to how you might take them forward.

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There is no ‘one size fits all’ and it will be important to take advice that fits with your own circumstances. We hope that you enjoy this edition of Rural Outlook, and it gives you some ideas and inspiration for your farms and estates. We hope you enjoy it - you can browse individual articles below, or complete a short form to download the full magazine or to request a hard copy.

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Browse our articles

Image of Field with haybale Report 2024

We approach the spring with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, both in terms of the rural economy, and wider macroeconomic factors.

Introduction | Rural Outlook 2024

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Image of Wild flower meadow pink sky Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is the mechanism by which new housing, commercial and infrastructure developments in England will become ‘nature positive’.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Biodiversity Net Gain: An Opportunity for Nature

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Image of Wind Turbines with sunset Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Amidst a dynamic renewable energy landscape, developers are still scoping out new solar energy and battery storage projects in England, even though many considered this market to be almost at saturation nearly two years ago.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Bright Sparks - Solar and Battery Markets Still Hot

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Image of Solar Panels in field cropped Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

With global agreement on the urgency of the climate crisis and time slipping away to reach our targets of a net zero power supply by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050, the energy transition has never been more pressing. Solar farms have an important role to play in this transition.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Creating Nature Rich Solar Sites

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Image of Manor House Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Legacy development is increasingly popular for rural landowners looking to develop their land in a sustainable way while benefiting future generations by creating high-quality, environmentally conscious communities.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Developing Your Land While Protecting Your Values

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Image of Tractor on a field Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Never before has land been subject to so many competing demands. Could it now be time to embrace the concept of a Land Use Framework? And where does that leave farming, now in a largely unsupported world?

Rural Outlook 2024 - Is it Time to Embrace a Land Use Framework?

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Image of Housing by pond Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

It’s essential for anyone that has land with potential for development to keep apprised of the opportunities arising from emerging local development plans.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Local Plan Watch

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Image of Floweer field Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

18 months after it was first introduced, there are finally glimmers of hope for landowners and developers affected by Nutrient Neutrality.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Nutrient Neutrality Challenges: Key Takeaways for Landowners

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Image of Church Farm Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Over the past 12 months, there has been a noticeable increase in land brought to the market, marking a shift from previous years.

Rural Agency Update 2024

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Image of Rural property Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Rural investment portfolios offer significant potential whilst providing a safer investment opportunity than other, higher-risk, asset classes.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Rural Investment Portfolios

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Image of Holding crops Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

At the time of writing, Bidwells’ agriculture and environment team have been working with the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 offer for three months and have had mixed experience with the actions chosen, the compatibility with other schemes, and the application process.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Sustainable Farming Incentive - Our Findings so Far

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Image of Teepee tents Reports & Briefings 06.03.24

Around 10 years ago, we saw the introduction of Class Q (agriculture to residential) and Class R (agriculture to a flexible commercial use) permitted development rights, which opened significant opportunities for barn conversions and rural diversification.

Rural Outlook 2024 - Update on Rural Permitted Development Rights

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Get in touch with our team

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Giles Dobson

Partner, Head of Rural

Whether developing an estate strategy or investing time in his team, Giles takes a long-term view to delivering positive change.

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Roland Bull

Partner, Head of Rural Investment

Roland oversees rural investment property worth £1bn for the UK’s oldest landowners. He’s also helping shape the country’s newest and most sustainable investment markets.

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Ian Ashbridge

Partner, Head of Agriculture & Environment

Ian combines fundamental technical farming knowledge with wider investment and real estate experience when advising his clients.

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