Two farms have sold for nearly 50 per cent over the guide price.

This comes after an estate agent's first major dedicated farm auction of the season.

There was so much interest in this auction, held at Borderway Auction Mart Carlisle, that H&H Land & Estates had to move to a larger auction ring to accommodate all those present.

The first farm to go under the hammer was Fowlpool Farm, near Hornsby Gate, Brampton, an 82.8-acre stock farm with a three-bedroom traditional farmhouse and a range of outbuildings.

This was followed by the 253.60 acres, East Farm in Wigton, another stock rearing farm, with a four bedroom farm house and adjoining outbuildings.

Fowpool - offered with a guide of £990,000 sold for £1,420,00 which was 43 per cent more than its guide price. 

There were 15 bidders, and it was eventually sold as a whole to a neighbouring farmer.

East Farm - with considerable competition, sold in eight lots to a variety of purchasers for 53 per cent more than its guide price, to total £3,658,000 against a guide price of £2,395,000.

Commenting afterwards, Thomas Armstrong, Director and Chartered Surveyor with H&H Land & Estates said: "The sales ring was packed and there was a wide range of potential purchasers, from farmers to investors and developers to lifestyle purchasers. 

"Fowlpool was sold to a neighbouring farmer, demonstrating the increasing trend for those looking at economies of scale as we head towards a new future in farming.

"East Farm and its land sold in eight lots to a variety of purchasers, mostly again farmers looking to extend their acreages.

"Many who were present were not necessarily there to buy, they were there to gauge demand and perhaps consider their own options going forward. 

"The Lump Sum Exit Scheme may well be in some farmers’ minds, as with prices such as these, plus a payment from the government now may well be a good time to retire, especially with input costs rising and the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme.”