High Weald

Report title:
Historic Farm Complexes in Current Socio-Economic Context: High Weald AONB

Socio economic characteristics of farms

Status and date:
Complete,  October 2007.

Research purpose:
To provide evidence of the economic and social role of historic farm buildings in the High Weald.  To inform targets within Objectives S1 and S2 of the High Weald AONB Management Plan.

Research aim(s):

  • To investigate the role of historic farmsteads in the economy of the High Weald.

Research findings:
Just over half of present day addresses associated with historic farm property are in residential use (52%). Where this is not the case, property has tended to remain in agricultural use (40%).  The research emphasises that within the High Weald, historic farm property appears to provide homes for an economic elite.  Those farm buildings remaining in agricultural use are found furthest from the main transport corridors to London.

AONB Unit comment:
The report illustrates how important high quality landscapes are in attracting high value businesses to the area.  It also underlines the challenges facing agriculture in the High Weald, with a declining stock of viable farmsteads to serve the industry.

Without a change in policy we may face rising numbers of applications for new farmsteads to support agriculture into the future. The report provides an indication to those organisations that are working hard to support agriculture, of where to focus their efforts first.

Commissioned by:
High Weald AONB Joint Advisory Committee (JAC)

Commissioned from:
ICOSS, Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

Funded by:
High Weald Joint Advisory Committee (JAC)