Christopher Lyons Rural Asset Management specialises in the day-to-day management of agricultural estates, investment farms, houses and cottages. The Firm advises on alternative use of land and buildings, leisure activities such as hotels, off-road driving and music festivals as well as exploring renewable energy opportunities.
The Firm was founded in 1992 by Christopher Lyons who worked with Savills for 20 years as a Partner and Director, specialising in rural management and setting up the country house and farm sales’ departments in their Hereford office.
Christopher Lyons moved from to Ledbury in 2002 to be better located to the property portfolio under management and closer to the motorway network.
Christopher Lyons Rural Asset Management builds on over 35 years of experience and continues to expand its client base by offering a comprehensive range of services in an ever changing and challenging rural environment.
The Firm’s focused professional team provides the broad experience and knowledge necessary to meet our clients’ needs and objectives. Unlike large national organisations, we can put our clients’ interests before corporate profitability providing a personalised and individual service to each and everyone.
"Christopher Lyons has advised our Company over the last twenty years. By giving good professional and financial advice, they contributed substantially to our programme of commercial development and diversification, which has proved very beneficial to our Shareholders."
James Hervey-Bathurst Eastnor Castle Estate
The Firm is ideally placed in Ledbury, a charming traditional market town on the edge of the Malvern Hills, minutes from the M50 allowing us to care for our widespread managements from Lancashire to Somerset.
We advise on about 20,000 acres of land based investments. These include managing houses in parkland settings surrounded by agricultural land and woodland, with their associated commercial shoots and other essential diversification enterprises ranging from hotels, off road driving and music festivals attracting tens of thousands of participants.
Our management includes around 200 let cottages, houses and farms, 3,000 acres of woodland and several miles of river fishing.
We also advise on 'one off issues' such as planning, purchase and development, agricultural valuations, and landlord and tenant rights.
"...advice on the opportunities and potential for alternative use of land and buildings..."
The Firm is involved with the day to day management of traditional country estates, acting for landlords who own tenanted farms, houses and cottages, undertaking all the duties involved with property ownership, including insurance, repairs, maintenance, capital improvements, collection of rents, negotiating lettings and rent reviews. Diversification of activities is often required to ensure that these rural businesses remain profitable. The Firm advises on the opportunities and potential of the alternative use of land and buildings, including conversion to housing for offices, leisure activities as well as wind farms and mobile phone masts.
Several of the Firm’s managements contain Natural Nature Reserves as well as European Sites of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. All involve agreements and negotiations with Statutory Authorities and procedures for undertaking operations within these areas. Rural property owners can receive considerable payments from entering one of a selection of Environmental Schemes, which contribute towards the cost of wildlife enhancement proposals and provide annual income.
"...owners can receive considerable payments from entering Environmental Schemes..."
"...agricultural property investment is likely to continue to be attractive..."
Farms have always attracted a variety of buyers and, even in today’s agricultural climate, there is a shortage of purchasing opportunities. We search for properties for clients and advise on both the purchase and future management. Agricultural property investment is likely to continue to be attractive with the prospect of world food shortages and changes in the Common Agricultural Policy. Investment in agriculture also has a number of tax advantages.
Christopher Lyons Rural Asset Management acts as consultants to various woodland investors. Some woodland owners are motivated by wildlife conservation more than by commercial advantages. Woodlands have a growing environmental and economic significance with tax advantages making them an alternative investment as well as providing recreational opportunities.
"...Woodlands have a growing environmental significance as well as tax benefits..."
"Christopher Lyons has been advising us over the last eight years on farming and woodland matters, as well as on setting up a shoot from scratch, and with their help we have built up a family estate to be proud of."
James Hervey-Bathurst Eastnor Castle Estate
The Firm is involved in the creation, development and day-to-day management of quality commercial pheasant and partridge shoots. We advise on such diverse matters as sporting leases to hosting shoot days for absentee owners. We look after some of the most beautiful stretches of rivers in the West Midlands and borders of Wales as well as advising on lake management.
The Firm is made-up of qualified Chartered Surveyors and members of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers specialising in rural professional work including compensation claims, planning and development, landlord and tenant work, farm environmental schemes and farm area payments.
The Firm undertakes a range of rural professional services, advising on wayleaves and easements for cables or pipelines across land, as well as boundary disputes. Christopher Lyons acts for clients requiring advice on compensation for loss of value of their property.
"...acts for clients requiring advice on compensation for loss of value..."
"...transferring property to the next generation can be complex and emotive..."
Decisions on transferring property to the next generation can be complex and emotive involving the need for legal, tax and valuation advice. We work closely with solicitors who can offer specialist advice for rural owners as well as working with tax accountants specialising in agriculture.
Alterations in tax treatment for Trusts create the need for regular revaluations of assets and successive tax changes in The Budget create demand for tax valuations.
Inheritance valuations involving farms and estates are becoming more complex and highlight the need for careful tax planning, especially on retirement. The Firm can help to reduce the tax implications by being involved with tax planning at an early stage.
The sale of surplus farmland or farm buildings and diversification out of agriculture can deprive a farming family of significant tax advantages in the future and good advice is essential.
"...inheritance valuations involving farms and estates are becoming more complex..."
We have a wealth of experience and strive to deliver quality and honesty.
Christopher has been a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for more than twenty years specialising in rural estate management. A Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers and involved in a range of issues from advising clients on rural day to day matters to taxation and trusts. Christopher joined Savills in 1972 and has been based in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and London before becoming independent in 1992
Alexandra is responsible for press relations, marketing and business development. She joined the Savills Exeter office in 1989 specialising in country house sales before joining Christopher Lyons in the Hereford office in 1991.
Andrew spent his placement year from Harper Adams University with the Firm and after graduating with a degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management returned to Christopher Lyons in July 2015. He is a probationary member of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.
Janice joined the team in early 2011, previously employed by another firm of rural chartered surveyors locally, where she was PA to one of the Directors. Prior to that Janice was PA/Manager for a community regeneration charity in Wales.
The Estate Office, Eastnor, Ledbury,
Herefordshire HR8 1RD
t: +44 (0) 1531 636321
f: +44 (0) 1531 636321