You’ll usually find a farm filmed with lots of different animals. Whether it’s pigs, cows, or sheep, farm land is usually a place for agricultural processes. However, the UK’s farms have started to house other projects, such as cafes, restaurants, shops, campsites, and adventure. But the ideas aren’t stopping there as certain farms look for a unique selling point to bring in customers.
However, did you know that Britain has a total of 20 million hectares which accounts for around 64% of the country’s land. While we still produce over five and a half million tonnes of potatoes and two million hectares of wheat is harvested in eastern England each year, weird and wonderful projects continue to ‘crop’ up. Here, with Lycetts, who provide insurance for farms, we take a look at some of the most extravagant and outlandish conversions seen on farm land in the United Kingdom.
A look towards tank driving
A farm in Dumfries, south-west Scotland has set up a tank driving experience. Scottish farmer Ian Evans had a lifelong fascination with the military machinery and decided to turn his dreams into a reality when he launched Galloway Tanks and offered members of the public a unique tank-driving day.
Evans decided to buy his own in 1998. His Penklin Farm near Newton Stewart now boasts a magnificent cavalry of 20 tanks, including a Chieftain and four 432s. The day-long experience can cost as little as £50 and includes driving the machinery up rolling hills on his 14ha plot of farmland. There are also separate tracks for each vehicle.
A look towards curling rink
You can’t blame for farmers around Britain that want to make the most out of the land they have. Ernest Fenton moved to Kent in England from Scotland and converted his cowshed into a curling rink when he started missing the sport. Now, the facility just outside of Tunbridge Wells is recognised as England’s only dedicated curling rink.
After speaking to a Canadian curling expert, Ernest began to import from North America to reap great benefits. Fenton’s Rink claims to be ideal for staff outings, team-building events, and Christmas parties.
Are more farmers open to hosting festivals?
Festivals are popping up all over the country, but they require large amounts of land to handle the floods of people who attend. With the likes of Barn on the Farm in Gloucester and the previously popular Wickerman Festival in Dumfries & Galloway, the music scene is taking advantage of the open space offered by farmland. Lounge on the Farm in Kent is another and has been running for 12 years. Although it may disrupt the usual farming activities for a short while, the money that can be brought in from renting out the space for a weekend can go a long way to covering costs for the entire year.
Are more farmers open to creating a holiday village?
More people are interested in staying at home rather than flying abroad — and more farms are offering camping and glamping retreats. Farms such as Glanmor Isaf Farm in Bangor, North Wales, are doing just that, opening up their space to the public so they can experience a taste of the Welsh countryside.
If you’re a sucker for a nice view when you’re away, this mountainous location will definitely make a great Instagram post. If you choose to attend in early summer there’s even the chance to feed the pet lambs, while Welsh Black cattle, pigs, mountain sheep, and chickens are always in the vicinity. For those wanting more of the hands-on experience, why don’t you rent your own private chicken coop?
If you do go ahead with such plans, don’t forget that you may need woodland insurance.
Are more farmers open to hosting sports events?
There are plenty of sporting events that take place on farms around the country. In Peterlee, Thornley Hall Farm has found itself added to the cross-country circuit in the North Eastern Harrier league..
Rapley Farm is home to the Spartan Race too. The series, which tests competitors’ physically abilities to the fullest by pitting them against an array of challenging obstacles, sees athletes travel the country to collect their medals after each run. Obstacles often include a barbed wire crawl, atlas carry, fire jump, and rope climb.
There’s no reason why farmers shouldn’t’ be making more use of their land, as animals can only take up so much space! What idea would you like to see next appear on a farm near you?