Surveying farmland

A day in the life of a rural property surveyor

I am part of Savills London-based Farms and Estates team, specialising in the sale and purchase of rural property across the country. People often tell me I have their dream job, spending my time visiting some of the best country estates, farms and equestrian properties in the UK.

Yes, of course there are days when this is the case; driving down tree-lined avenues and over Repton bridges, through 300-year-old Capability Brown landscapes, looking around historic country mansions on behalf of clients. But there is also the regular commute from Hertfordshire into central London, the many hours spent in traffic on the M25, and waiting for prospective clients at properties on Sunday evenings and Bank Holidays only to find that 'something has come up' and they will be an hour late – or even worse – they will have to cancel altogether.

The truth is, no day is ever the same. I could be meeting a new buyer for a coffee in London, organising a viewing tour, directing a drone video, inspecting estate cottages to write particulars, walking farm boundaries, meeting with solicitors, giving farmers and landowners an update on the land market, valuing a property for a prospective client through to meeting a colleague from our Russian team to discuss a new estate we are selling.

My job can also be very hard work though having grown up on a farm and spent several years in Young Farmers Clubs I'm used to being surrounded by people who work hard. When I get my train to London, I know dairy farmers will already be milking their cows and friends will already be at the yard and exercising horses.

My farming background also gave me a strong grounding in the rural sector and helped me realise that I wanted a career with a rural and equestrian twist. I studied at Harper Adams University and spent a year working in the industry with Savills in Oxford. During the summers I worked on private yards as a groom and on a farm as 'the weighbridge girl' (recording the weight of grain in a trailer before it goes into the grainstore); weekends involved riding out for National Hunt trainers and working for a local firm of chartered surveyors.

Having graduated, I spent a further four years with Savills regional offices and during this period I qualified as a chartered surveyor and agricultural valuer before moving to the head office in central London.

Working for a large company, with local, national and global offices, means I have a vast network of professionals to tap into, specialists in many fields from planners and farm consultants through to rating surveyors, as well as a highly regarded research team to keep me and clients well informed on market trends.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Savills is hosting a Ladies in Agriculture event at our head office which provides a great opportunity to meet interesting and inspiring women from the rural sector around the UK: CEOs and founders of successful companies, women balancing family life and their careers and women in sport – particularly equestrian.

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