Know How / Diversification

The income generated by diversification is a vital component of many farming businesses – but it can involve unfamiliar planning, legal, staffing, plus health and safety issues.

This page offers tips and advice to guide you through your diversification journey. You’ll find information to help you to set up and run a thriving new enterprise on your farm.

Key areas of focus:

  • Inspirational farm diversification case-studies
  • Opportunities for grant support
  • Avoiding legal and tax pitfalls
  • Successful staff management
  • Business planning and marketing strategies

Case studies

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Vineyard makes innovative adaptions to cope with covid

Despite not holding a wedding in 2021 until 1 May, Alice Maltby, Tom Wilson and the growing team at Little Wold Vineyard have been pressing on with numerous building projects…


How mixed farm award winners diversified into apple market

Ballingham Court Farm in Herefordshire is the home of 20,000 apple trees, where Henry and Esther Rudge have supplied fresh, juicy fruit to British drinks brand Copella for nearly 15…


How farm retailers are retaining lockdown customers

According to a Farm Retail Association (FRA) survey, 92% of members saw a significant rise in customer numbers after lockdown rules were imposed in March. Almost 80% had introduced a…


How one farmer adds value with ‘worthless’ wool and bracken

Bracken is a scourge for many hill farmers, eating up valuable grazing land, providing an ideal habit for ticks, and proving difficult to control. But a farmer in Cumbria has…


Farmers Weekly Awards: Diversification finalists 2020

This year’s three finalists have all developed sound businesses to keep the farm afloat and provide a succession platform for future generations. The diversifications include a fruit farm selling direct…


Tips on setting up an award-winning diversification

Emma Boyles and her team have earned greater recognition for their quality fine wool business since winning Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year 2019. We find out how they…

Practical advice

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So you want to… offer shared rural workspace

Millions of people have spent the past 15 months working from home and have appreciated not having to spend time and money on a daily commute. However, for some, home…


Benefits and pitfalls of holding an on-farm temporary event

Government incentives to boost the rural economy during the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated a shift towards diversification into temporary public events on farmland. There was already an upward trend in…


How farm wedding venues can make the most of market trends

The wedding industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated 200,000 weddings postponed or cancelled since March 2020. Venues across the country have…


How to make your farm B&B appeal to the staycation market

The coronavirus pandemic hit the UK bed and breakfast (B&B) market harder than other forms of staycation such as camping, glamping and holiday lets.  Social distancing between groups within one…


How to make your farm attractive to the glamping market

Meeting the developing demands of customers and ensuring the business is on a firm footing must be priorities for those planning to enter the glamping market. The glamping market evolved…


How to go about diversifiying into farm pop-up campsites

The number of farms offering temporary campsites has soared, boosted by a change to government planning policy and rising demand for outdoor getaways. Of the 2,000 UK campsites listed on…


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12 steps to improve marketing of a staycation venture

Whether it is glamping, camping, holiday lets, B&Bs or pop-up campsites, a diversification into the leisure sector needs visitors. Here, Savills tourism and leisure director Simon Foster, FarmStay chairwoman Kay…


Farmshops continue to #FeedTheNation as lockdown eases

Farm shops are predicting a positive future, with early indications suggesting new customers who turned to them in lockdown are remaining loyal. Turnover is up on pre-Covid-19 levels at Newlyns…


Land with forestry potential sees unprecedented prices

Hill farms and bare land with the potential for planting trees have achieved unprecedented prices due to competitive bidding from commercial forestry investors. This rise in demand was the biggest…


Exclusive survey: 97% farms find diversification profitable

Ingenuity, drive, skill and hard work are all clear to see in the results of Farmers Weekly’s diversification survey, carried out in association with Carter Jonas.  A vast range of…


5 minutes with... Diversification award winners the Moretons

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…


Why planting trees can improve farm performance

Trees and hedgerows might shape the appearance of the Great British countryside, but their role goes way beyond simply looking pretty. From improving animal welfare to mitigating the effects of…


How farms on the edge of cities survive and thrive

Agricultural buffers at the edge of the rural-urban fringe provide their own unique challenges, but they are also home to some of the country’s most successful farm businesses. For many…