Knight Frank launches largest area of land in England and Wales to come to the market in living memory

07 July 2010

Key points

  • The 23,315-acre Vyrnwy Estate in Wales is the largest single block of land to come to the market in living memory
  • It is for sale on a 125-year lease with a guide price of £11m
  • The estate surrounds 1,113-acre Lake Vyrnwy, which is owned by Severn Trent Water and supplies fresh water to Liverpool. Surface amenity rights are available through separate negotiation
  • The sale includes almost 12,000 acres of farmland, 5000 acres of woodland, 12 let farms and 31 let residential and commercial buildings

Knight Frank has just launched the historic 23,315-acre Lake Vyrnwy Estate in Wales’ Cambrian Mountains. The estate surrounds Lake Vyrnwy, a reservoir created in 1892 at the end of the nineteenth Century by the Liverpool Corporation to supply clean water to the rapidly growing city – a function it still performs today.
At the time, the reservoir was the largest in Europe with the biggest masonry dam ever created. Villagers were re-housed further down the Vyrnwy Valley with a chapel on the edge of the lake the only visible sign of the flooded settlement
The estate owned by Severn Trent Water, which is available on a 125 year lease, is the largest disposal of land in England or Wales in living memory.

The guide price is £11m with the surface amenity rights over the lake itself available by separate negotiation.
The land for sale has been split into four lots and offers a unique and diverse portfolio of property that will appeal to many different potential purchasers.
Lot 1 includes almost 12,000 acres of in-hand farmland farmed jointly with the RSPB on an organic basis with a strong emphasis on the environment.

Lot 2 is a diverse portfolio of let farms and land ranging from under two acres to almost 1,000 acres. There are 14 farms in total with all bar one let under Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies.

Lot 3 covers 5,000 acres of coniferous and beech woodland managed by Forestry Commission Wales.

Lot 4 includes 31 residential and commercial properties let under a variety of different tenancies.

Tony Wray, Severn Trent's chief executive, said:
"Severn Trent runs all its estates sustainably and responsibly, but our core expertise is in providing excellent water and wastewater services for our customers, rather than managing upland estates. Other organisations exist that can concentrate more intensively on running the land at Vyrnwy. A responsible transfer process will bring benefits for all those living, working on and visiting the estate.

"We are committed to continuing our operational role at Vyrnwy and will retain a site presence to ensure this valuable asset is managed effectively and sustainably.”
Clive Hopkins, head of farm and estate sales at Knight Frank, commented:
“This is a fantastic sale that presents numerous opportunities to potential buyers. Never before has a property of this size come to the open market in one block under a single ownership, not in my lifetime anyway. Due to such a diverse portfolio of property we anticipate interest from a wide variety of sources, institutions, pension funds, private landowners and investors.”

Representatives from Severn Trent Water and Knight Frank will be available to answer questions at the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel on Monday 5th July between 12 and 1pm.
For further information, please contact:
Clive Hopkins, Knight Frank, Head of farms & estates department,
+44 (0) 20 7861 1064, +44 (0) 7831 576 640
Tom Raynham, Knight Frank farms and estates department,
+44 (0) 20 7861 1578, +44 (0) 7917 598112
Davina Bell, Knight Frank press office,
+44 (0) 20 7861 1033, +44 (0) 7796 996 154
Andrew Marsh, Severn Trent Water press office,
+44 (0) 121 722 4555, +44 (0) 7824 432 206