Non-farmers buying land

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Non-farmers, such as entrepreneurs setting up cottage industries, accounted for almost a fifth of rural land sales in the North East over the last six months, the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Agricultural University reveals.

That figure of 18 per cent was up from just seven per cent in the first half of 2015.

Property developers accounted for only two per cent of rural land sales in the region over the same period.

Sales to individual farmers fell from 73 per cent in the first half of 2015 to 69 per cent during the second.