Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

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lindsay
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Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #198405 lindsay
Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:23 pm

Hello all
I've had a quick scan through the book reviews and can't find this book mentioned by anyone. On the face of it, Field to Farm looks really useful, but it costs £25 which is rather expensive. Does anybody know if it is worth buying?
Lindsay

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #198462 Green Aura
Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:28 am

Sorry honey, never heard of it - but it does sound interesting.

What about seeing if you can get it from the library before taking the plunge?

If you decide to get it do a review for us.
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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #198473 grahamhobbs
Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:29 am

This book is extremely overpriced for what it actually tells you. The essence of the book could be contained in a small pamplet. Basically to be able to establish the right to live on a piece of agricultural land you have to
1. Demonstrate that you can make a living off the land
2. Show it is essential to live on the land for the enterprise.
To make a living off the land you have to make an income at least equal to the minimum wage. The bigger the income you can make, the bigger the house you will ultimately be able to build.
To show that it is essential that you live on the land, the enterprise basically, at least in the main, has to be raising animals that require constant attention, ie. animals that give birth throughout the year eg. not sheep.
Under normal planning law, you have 3 years in which to demonstrate the above, you can then apply for planning permission to build your house.
All this is standard Planning law and you do not need the book to discover it.
The one thing the book does provide is a route for making the way possibly a bit easier. If you have 5 acres or more, then you have the right to build a barn on the land (you have to apply for planning permission, but it cannot really be refused - although they may insist that it is an ugly commercial steel or concrete affair). You then have the right to live on the land (supposedly building the barn), in a caravan or temporary structure (which includes timber kit cabin type houses) for 5 years. This has the advantage that you can live on the land straight away and have 5 instead or 3 years to buildup your enterprise.
You have the right to build a barn on every parcel of 5 acres, so in theory you could if you had 20 acres move around and live (temporarily) on the land for 20 years.
What the book does not give is any examples of anyone that has done this, what enterprises that have been succesful or what size house has been granted relative to the income generated. In other words the book does not give any real life experience. There is a follow up book, I haven't read the sequel, which supposedly goes into possible enterprises, raising pigs, chickens and llamas, etc., because I felt so ripped off by the first book and have little confidence that the author will give anything but a fleeting account of these enterprises.
I suppose, what is it, £50 in the overall thing of being able to building a house on cheap agricultural land is very little, but I think it is the principle of the thing, These are not coffee table books but simple information aimed at people who are going to struggle to make a self-sufficient living.

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #198491 lindsay
Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:49 pm

Thanks very much for that info! £25 is a lot for any book, so I suspected it might not be worth it. I'll try to get it out of the library instead. Plus you've given me some interesting info that I didn't know, so that has been really helpful. Lindsay

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #198495 grahamhobbs
Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:35 pm

This link may be helpful, Chapter 7 is an organisation that help people to live on the land
http://www.tlio.org.uk/chapter7/diy.html

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #204852 Foolonthehill
Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:01 pm

Yes, it is a brilliant book. It will help those who are not aufait with how the planning system operates in this country. If you think planning is fair and unbiased, designed to 'protect' the countryside, etc., then this book will not only tell you what rules and regulations you are entitled to use but also demonstrate how planning officers and authorities firstly won't tell you your full entitlements and secondly, how planning officers frequently conjure up what I shall refer to as 'untuths'.

It is a small book which may appear poor value at £25 but let's consider two things. If you employ a planning consultant on your behalf for any application you may wish to make, he will probably charge you £25 for less than an hours work. In the scheme of things £25 is a pittance. Having a path to improve your lands value (which itself is probably circa £10K an acre) and having the ability to build upon it is going to increase the lands value a fair tad more than £25.

£25 for a book of information, that if you had to do the research and find out all of what it contains would take weeks, months or years, is not a bad deal. However, it is down to the individual whether too spend that money or not but to call the book poor value lacks a lot of judgement. Mr GrahamHobbs review above is also very innaccurate and far to short to give a fully conversant answer to its worth and usefulness. Firstly, it is five hectares and not five acres. Could it all be contained ina small pamphlet? Yes, but the additional useful info it contains above the basic facts would be omitted and thus, not be so helpful.

There is a very useful forum, open to non buyers of the book though with private sections where only book owners may read and post, which gives clarity on any points or new regulation discoveries are discussed.

I am a book owner and although have a reasonable ken of the planning law, have found the book to be invaluable. I would give it an unmitigated thumbs up for anyone wishing to live on the land, providing they have access to 5 hectares of land or more (12.5 acres)

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #207774 MKG
Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:27 pm

Thanks for that Mrs. Acreman :iconbiggrin:
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #213677 patricia39
Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:11 am

Yes, the price is a bit expensive but it is reasonable. The 'Field to Farm' explains how to live on agricultural land legally without the need for planning permission. It's a good book indeed!

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Last edited by patricia39 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #213699 oldjerry
Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:00 am

No offence but your living in dreamland.Just how much do you think you are going to pay for 5hectares? Round here land is fetching about 5k an acre,but you will pay far more for a compact parcel of land,so you're looking at something like 50k,more if the access is good.then you'll have to sort out the services etc. etc.(before you even start to fight the planners while establishing a viable business).If that's your idea of sustainable living fair enough! And I don't want to hear about the one person in a hundred thousand dreamers who's done this successfully,there are really practical ways of living sustainably ,in a rural setting if you wish,eg rent ,or put some of that 50k towardsbuying,a place with a decent size garden,then as you get to know the neighbours,whom you wont have wound up with some ludicrous planning application,you will find someone who will sell or rent you a corner or bit (or bits) of land,so if you want to farm with a view to profit you can.

Here endeth the lesson, Sit down please!

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Re: Field to Farm by David Acreman -- is it any good?

Post: #253456 mamos
Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:08 pm

Can you do this on any size piece of land or is there a minimum size the PTB consider viable for earning a living.

I was going to buy thee book but someone told me the minimum size piece of land was 5 hectares which is well out of reach for the average person to contemplate.

The business I was considering could sustain me on less than an acre.

If it is possible to proceed on a smaller piece of land then it might be worth getting the book

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