Matthew Sawdon MRICS FAAV

Director

I enjoy working with clients, gaining a detailed understanding of their business and assets, and working with them to ensure they achieve or succeed in their goals, adding value throughout the process. Through challenging and changing times in agriculture, sound advice is very important.


I have been involved in farming from an early age, having grown up on a mixed farm in the Yorkshire Wolds. I have fond memories of helping my father during the weekends and harvest and visiting the local sheep auction.

In 1999, I left the farm and went to study Rural Land Management at Harper Adams University, where during my placement, I spent a year on the Drumlanrig Estate in Scotland. Here I gained experience in all types of estate management, and the shooting and fishing were a particular highlight!

After graduating from Harper Adams, I ventured south and joined Hobbs Parker as a graduate surveyor to undertake my APC and CAAV training.  I was regularly involved in assisting in the livestock market and occasionally got to have a go with a gavel at one of the collective and antique sales.

Having qualified in 2005, today I am involved in a wide variety of professional matters, and no two days are the same. I spend a lot of my time undertaking valuations for a variety of purposes, advising on landlord and tenant issues, and keeping clients updated on changing agricultural policy.

I am increasingly involved in farm and land sales and was recently instructed in the sale of Queens and Kings Farm in North Kent, one of the largest blocks of land to come to the market in the South East in recent years.

Away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling, skiing and cooking.


Blog articles featuring Matthew

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Outlook - Summer 2024

By Matthew Sawdon

Top tips for selling land from Matthew Sawdon. Charlotte Bromley reviews changes to Permitted Development Rights and advice from Jon Rimmer and Sam Snart on battery storage developments.

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Flurry of farms kickstart the Spring market

By Matthew Sawdon

Following a record year in 2023 for our Farms and Land Agency team, we are delighted to be launching several farms in Kent and East Sussex this Spring. 

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Are your grazing arrangements due a spring clean?

By Matthew Sawdon

As we head into Spring, attention for many landowners will turn to managing their pasture for another year, whether this is buying stock, mowing, or contracting out to a local grazier or contractor. In this […]

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The End of the Four-Year Rule

By Steve Davies

The rules around how long a development needs to have taken place to become lawful are about to change. Often, works are mistakenly carried out without the benefit of planning permission.

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Considering selling your farm or land? Read our top tips first

By Matthew Sawdon

Now Spring has officially arrived, the rain has (hopefully!) slowed down, and demand for farms and land remains strong in the South East, we share our tips for selling.

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Government Announcement on Agricultural Property Relief (APR)

By Karen Ross

Welcome news on APR with the inclusion of farmland in environmental schemes

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Delinked Payment Transfer Window Opens

By Thomas Hamplett

The transfer window for delinked BPS payments is now open until the 10th May 2024.

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More grant funding released for Farm Productivity and Animal Welfare

By Thomas Hamplett

Following the Prime Minister’s address to the National Farmers Union conference, Defra have announced the eagerly anticipated 2024 round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF).

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Rishi Sunak makes announcement at NFU Conference

By Thomas Hamplett

The Prime minister used his speech at the National Farmers Union (NFU) Conference to pledge his government support for British Agriculture with a focus on further support and policy changes to assist with diversification and […]

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Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) applications open in September

By Matthew Sawdon

DEFRA has announced that SFI applications will open on the 18th of September 2023.  Below we have highlighted some of the key points and considerations.

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Unleashing Rural Opportunity – A Government charm offensive?

By Matthew Sawdon

Defra has released its vision for unleashing rural opportunity covering planning, connectivity, employment and transport.

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The Delinking of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Payments

By Karen Ross

2023 marks the end of BPS payments in their current form, with Defra introducing “delinked payments” in 2024 as English agricultural policy continues its transition away from the EU’s model of financial support.

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BPS Entitlement trading window now open!

By Thomas Hamplett

This year is the last year in which BPS entitlements can be traded with de-linkage set to be introduced from next year.

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New standards added to the Sustainable Farming Incentive Scheme

By Matthew Sawdon

DEFRA announces further developments for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship Schemes. The schemes offer new funding opportunities for farmers.

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Changes to Countryside Stewardship and ELM's

By Matthew Sawdon

After months of political uncertainty, new prime ministers and cabinet reshuffles, the Government wheels are starting to turn again. The backlog of policy is beginning to come through.

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Land market remains strong

By Matthew Sawdon

Farmland values have now reached their highest level since 2016, with the average value of good arable land currently in the region of £9,500 per acre. There continues to be wide variations in prices being […]

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Sustainable Farming Incenitive (SFI) to launch in June

By Matthew Sawdon

DEFRA have confirmed that the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) will launch in June 2022.  We will continue to publish more detailed information once the scheme details are released.  Here is an overview of the first […]

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Opportunities and challenges ahead

By Matthew Sawdon

However, with these new opportunities, come challenges as the agriculture sector faces increasing demand to reduce its carbon footprint, whilst inflationary pressures are making everyday business more challenging. Here we look at some of the […]

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Farmers could receive up to £100,000 to give up their land

By Matthew Sawdon

Applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Lump Sum Exit Scheme will open in April, DEFRA secretary George Eustice has confirmed. The scheme enables existing BPS claimants to receive a proportion of their future BPS […]

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Increased payments for Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS)

By Matthew Sawdon

DEFRA has announced that payment rates for many Countryside Stewardship revenue options will increase by up to 30%. This is for both existing and new agreements.

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Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Landscape Recovery (LR)

By Matthew Sawdon

These recent announcements focus on Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Landscape Recovery (LR), together with some good news in respect of Countryside Stewardship revenue payments.

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DEFRA release details of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) rollout 2022

By Matthew Sawdon

The proposed rollout is the first element of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). The agreements will last 3 years, with payments made quarterly.  There will be no minimum or maximum land areas and applicants […]

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Sustainable Farming Incentive

By Matthew Sawdon

The first phase is due to be rolled out to all BPS claimants from mid-2022 with a full launch in 2024. Payments will be in addition to the Basic Payment Scheme and the SFI is […]

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Rent review - Is now the time?

By Matthew Sawdon

Tenants are reluctant to seek a rent review for fear of upsetting a longstanding relationship with their landlord, and many landlords want to agree a compromise to maintain a sustainable relationship going forward. Rent formulas […]

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Grants and Subsidies

By Matthew Sawdon

Through the agricultural transition plan, the Government sets out its vision. It’s a useful starting point, although currently it does not provide all the answers and we await detailed, costed guidance. WHAT IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE? […]

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The Agricultural Transition Plan – Is your business prepared?

By Matthew Sawdon

Plans to deliver a fairer farming system were set out by the government on the 30th October with the release of the “Agricultural Transition Plan”. The plan will transform the way farmers are supported from […]

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Public money for public goods

By Matthew Sawdon

Currently applications for Countryside Stewardship will remain open until 2023. After which it is mooted that a Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) may be introduced to bridge the gap between the end of the Basic Payment […]

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Have your say now on the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS)

By Matthew Sawdon

As part of this, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has opened a public consultation on the proposed new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). This will be DEFRA’s cornerstone agricultural policy paying […]

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What's the future for the Basic Payment Scheme?

By Matthew Sawdon

The phasing out of the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) will be one of the biggest challenges for farmers and landowners when the Agricultural Bill is introduced. Nothing major will change for 2020 as payments will […]

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Tenancy planning for landowners

By Matthew Sawdon

As politicians continue to wrestle with Brexit, there is obviously significant uncertainty. What we do know is that Brexit – if it happens – will bring changes, and landlords and tenants alike should be prepared. There could be changes to financial […]

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The Best Restaurants in Kent and East Sussex

By Sally Randall

This article was written a few years ago and some of the details may be out of date. Please contact the restaurants for further information before travelling. The next best thing to eating good food, […]

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Favourable exchange rate brings timely relief to farmers

By Matthew Sawdon

Recent forecasts for net farm income for all farm types for the year to March 2016 are down by 25 per cent, equivalent to an average of £13,000. The 2016 exchange rate for this year’s […]

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Agricultural Grant Scheme Launched for Hedgerows and Boundaries

By Matthew Sawdon

The deadline for applications is 30 April. Benefits may be obtained for capital items such as hedge planting, laying and coppicing, earth bank restoration stone-faced bank repair and restoration, and stone wall restoration. A woodland […]

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