'An excellent opportunity to acquire a residential farm and unique business opportunity on circa 61 acres'
Full Planning Permission for six glamping pods, a communal building and associated siteworks was granted in December 2019, while the wider site includes paths, bridleways, community allotments and a Christmas tree plantation.
Now on the market through JF Speers and Son, the sale of Rathwood Farm presents an “excellent opportunity to acquire a residential farm and a unique business opportunity”.
Located on the Ringclare Road, Donaghmore, Newry, the Rathwood Farm concept and business model was dreamt up and initiated by the current owner who, over the last seven years, has been developing the farm in three distinct phases of work, which provide a unique sustainable agro-forestry and permaculture off-grid, closed loop-system.
The selling agent explains: “Rathwood is a 25.3 hectare site which, in 2016, was a typical small family farm. An application was made through the Forest Expansion Scheme and, in 2017, 11.11 hectares of native hardwood trees was planted. This was done in sectional woodland fells, with various walking trails and a surrounding bridleway.”
Along with Rathwood Farm there is a domestic three-bedroom detached house. Ideally located adjacent to the main yard, it provides an opportunity to live where you work.
The farm yard includes:
- Open concrete yard with cattle crush
- Four bay shed
- Two bay shed with double access
- Lean to machinery store
- Tool shed
As the existing main woodland is now six years established, pruning of the lower stems and removal of protective covers has begun. At this early stage, certain rare breeds of sheep may be introduced into the woodland fells. It is proposed, over the next four to five years, to begin sectioning off all the various fells to do just that.
By 2027, it is proposed rare breed cattle and pigs are also introduced, along with the sheep. Sowing a mixed seed of wild flower, perennial and cereal grains after grazing, will “vastly improve biodiversity of the woodland and will sustain the livestock and other wildlife over winter”.
The community allotments, meanwhile, comprise 12 plots. The members grow various types of vegetables for their own households, but 20 per cent from each plot is sold through two local farm shops - this covers their rent, seed, compost etc for each season.
There is also a total of 15 double row beds which are used to produce extra food for local shops, with 100 per cent of this going out to sale.
The community allotments are situated alongside a Christmas tree plot, which is to be fenced off to allow free range chickens to be introduced for eggs and poultry production.
A communal orchard includes various native species of eating/cooking apple, pear and plum trees, all for fruit production.
The site of Rathwood Farm Luxury Glamping Pods has views over the complete Mourne mountain range with glamping pod sites aligned to mountain peaks.
The glamping site was operational between May 2021 and February 2022 creating a gross turnover of £96.5k during this time and, while in operation, received a 4.3 trust pilot score with over 458 reviews.