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To you, your rural property may be your place of work, it may be somewhere you spend your free time, or it may simply be your home. And for some, it is all 3. Increasing the value of your property is achieved by either increasing the amenity and enjoyment of its’ space and structures or by finding new ways to generate income from it (or both!). Through this blog series, we’re going to share a whole host of ideas of how you can diversify your assets to discover more ways of diversifying – for pleasure or business - what you already have! 
With the main focus of diversification on developing a new profit stream (as most people need few ideas to improve their homes for enjoyment!), earning more money from your property generally falls into one of two categories: 
• Changing use of land/buildings just to rent out for someone else to use, or 
• Changing its use to provide new goods or services yourself 
At Landscope, we have helped many rural businesses and property owners diversify with our end-to-end planning consultancy. Local planning authorities often want to know that there is a good business plan behind a property diversification initiative, which is why we also offer rural business plan development advice. 
During this time, we have come across a huge range of ideas and opportunities and in many cases, helped bring them to fruition with our planning consultancy and rural business services. 
Behind every good diversification scheme is a consumer need – something new due to the constantly changing world around us, or something well-known, delivered well or new to your local area. Some of the key social trends giving rise to opportunity in recent times have been driven by the Covid pandemic. How many of you have rediscovered parts of the UK as a place to go on holiday or quick break? Given that there are still some extra admin hoops to jump through to go abroad and always the risk that the pandemic might resurface, the demand for holidaying in the UK will undoubtedly remain at a higher level than before the pandemic. 
Another outcome of Covid in both urban and countryside areas, has been the growth in pet numbers, as well as the walking which goes with it! And let’s face it – a walk which includes a pub or a café can make it a real pleasure.  
Cycling has also become a more popular activity in rural areas, leading to café’s and pit-stops as well as cycle shops. And even if people don’t own either a dog lead or a bike, there is still a general desire to get out of the urban areas and into the countryside, with all the tourism opportunities that encourages. With the decline in shopping on the high street, there has been a growth not only in online shopping, which has led to a surge in logistics businesses, but in rural based shopping too. 
A more longstanding trend in recent years, has been away from mass production of food, driven by food scares and awareness of wider moral issues. This has led to a growth in the popularity of ‘field to fork’ in food retailing. The importance of provenance and welfare in consumer choice has increased significantly, particularly around the production of meat. And beyond food/welfare issues, there has been a growth in awareness of businesses which deliver environmentally beneficial services. 
Another long-term trend we have witnessed, which has led to diversification, is the growth of craft brewing and distilling. There has been a distinct consumer move away from big branded spirits and beer towards craft brewing and we have seen small craft brewers setting up, with rural barns making ideal settings. In addition, the popularity of Gin as a drink has risen significantly and, since it is possible to distil on a relatively small scale, distilleries have set up too. 
This diversification blog series will delve into different ways you could get more from your rural property by categorising projects and posting them in bitesize chunks to kickstart some ideas for your land and property. Over the coming series, we will take a closer look at a range of them: 
• Food & drink production and sale 
• Business premises 
• Horses & pets 
• Activities & accommodation 
• Venue for hire 
• Green activities 
As ever, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you find the right project for you and we’ll be happy to assist you on every step of your journey! 
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