By Debbie James

THE new owner of two £10 million Pembrokeshire coastal farms with a total acreage of 1,283 acres plans to combine a dairy enterprise with an existing arable business supplying Puffin Produce at Haverfordwest.

RE Evans Farms Ltd says it plans to re-establish the milking herd at Corston Farm, Hundleton, by the end of this summer.

“Our plan is to extend our arable rotations into the wider land base at Lower Broadmoor giving us some excellent access to clean ground and we have a good land base more widely to support the existing herd there,’’ said a spokesman for the farming company.

“Our current priority is to add to the strength of our existing team; we want to find some additional team players to work with us on this journey in what we believe is a unique supply chain. There are some excellent opportunities for the right candidates.”

The farms were owned by Frederick Hiam Ltd but they were put up for sale following the company’s decision to exit dairy farming after 40 years.

Savills, which handled the sale, said interest from potential buyers was significant.

Daniel Rees, of Savills, said interest has extended to Ireland and Canada.

“Although the farms were run together as dairy units this was not reflected in the motives of all the buyers, especially as the farms were some distance apart,’’ he said.

“At Broadmoor Farm the land was of good enough quality to grow early potatoes and arable crops and there was also interest from the residential and amenity buyer, who were looking at the diversified income generated by the residential properties.”

One of the main challenges surrounding the sale resulted from the dairy herd being subject to TB restrictions at the time of marketing.

To ensure clarity for bidders and the seller, a valuation mechanism for the herd was agreed so that bidding could be done on a like-for-like basis.

The farms sold for a figure close to the £10m guide price.

Broadmoor farm extends to over 800 acres and includes modern milking facilities and housing for 400 cows, with 483-acre Corston Farm including some additional traditional outbuildings with potential for development subject to planning.

Mr Rees said the sale gave Savills an opportunity to talk to buyers in the farm market.

“It was refreshing to see so many looking to expand their current dairy operations or look to completely move from their current farm and set up a new life in Wales.

“It was clear that there are plenty of active buyers out there for quality Welsh farms and Savills is now well placed to put them in touch with our existing and future selling clients.”