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Tap into house overlooking countryside

25/06/2015

A pretty four bedroom cottage located in north Shropshire countryside has been launched to the market.

White House Cottage is located in the hamlet of Osbaston, one mile from the local facilities of Knockin, six miles to Oswestry, 13 to Shrewsbury; with good access to the North and the Midlands.

An entrance porch leads through to the hall and staircase, with access to the sitting room and dining room. The kitchen is found to the rear, with access to both reception rooms, also to the garden and to two very useful storage pantries.

Agent, Clemmie Radcliffe, of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “This is a well presented cottage with enhanced character in each of the rooms, including feature fireplaces and beams.  Four bedrooms have the benefit of a family bathroom and a shower room.

White House Cottage is enhanced with gravel frontage, gardens with lawns and shrubs, plus a decked terrace. It also benefits from a double garage with workshop and store. Balfours are marketing White House Cottage with a guide price of £385,000. For more information call Clemmie Radcliffe on 01743 353511 or visit www.balfours.co.uk

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Two bedroom bungalow

16/06/2015

A newly fitted kitchen is part of the package at Eirianfa, a two bedroom bungalow, at Edgebolton, near Shawbury.

To be found in a quiet, yet accessible location, with garden and garage. The bungalow currently comprises of an open plan kitchen and sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, each access of the entrance hall; plus utility off the kitchen.

Agent, Clemmie Radcliffe of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “The bungalow has great potential and indeed had planning permission for an extension which has lapsed. The space is well presented and the sitting room has a log burner offering very comfortable accommodation.

Eirianfa is marketed with a guide price of £190,000, for more information call Clemmie Radcliffe on 01743 353511 or visit www.balfours.co.uk

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Open House Day for exclusive Edstaston barn development

16/06/2015

An Open House Day will reveal six barns recently converted to residential homes launched to the letting market. The Open House Day is on Saturday, June 20 from 10am until 2pm, at Edstaston Barns, near Wem, hosted by agents, Balfours Property Professionals.

Balfours letting agent, Charlotte George MARLA comments: “These are fabulous two and three bedroom barn conversions which offer individual layouts of semi-open plan ground floor space, with names reflecting their preceding life, including The Hopper, The Granary and The Dairy. The barns have under floor heating with the efficiency of green renewable biomass energy and one property offers single storey accommodation.

Each property has a small lawn, patio, shed and parking. The Barns in Edstaston are located less than two miles north of Wem and seven miles south of Whitchurch; Shrewsbury and Chester are easily accessible too. Rental prices range from £650 pcm to £795 pcm; for more information or to register for an appointment on the Open House Day call Charlotte George MARLA on 01743 277069.

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Farming talk: Acute Oak Decline, by Charlotte Adkin

10/06/2015

Woodlands, particularly ancient broadleaf plantations, are a highly treasured asset of farms and estates from the perspective of aesthetics, recreation and amenity value. However, sadly, they are often undermanaged or overlooked due to the high cost of maintenance and the inevitably long term nature of any economic return (with the exception of shooting estates).


In recent history, the most well publicised threat to our broadleaf woodlands was (and remains) Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea now known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus); which although first spotted in the UK in woods in Buckinghamshire as late as February 2012; soon became a widespread problem, affecting woodlands across the country.


This year, sadly, there appears to be another disease threatening our ancient oak woodlands: Acute Oak Decline (commonly known as AOD). This is particularly pertinent to farmers, land agents and estate owners in the county as it is most prevalent in the Midlands and is visible in our woodlands in Shropshire.


As is common with recently discovered diseases; much remains unknown about AOD; in particular the cause and the way it is spread. However the Forestry Commission, namely Dr Sandra Denman and her team are doing invaluable research on the condition in Shropshire and other parts of the country in order to increase our knowledge. This will consequently guide woodland management and disease prevention for the future.


Suffice it to say, even with the basic knowledge we have at present; it is prudent that those working on or for farms and estates should be able to recognise cases of Acute Oak Decline (AOD) and monitor and record infected trees; particularly roadside trees or trees that, if weakened by AOD, may pose a threat to the public.


Therefore, here is some advice on how one can identify AOD in oaks on farms and estates:


•    Trees aged 50 years + . AOD most commonly affects mature oak trees, fifty years or older; although, recent evidence has shown younger trees displaying symptoms of the disease.
•    Evidence of stem bleeds. Look for vertical weeping fissures that seep black fluid down the trunk.
•    Splits in the bark of the tree: Look for longitudinal splits forming in the cracks between the bark plates of five to 10cm long.
•    Evidence of crown dieback. Thinning of the canopy is apparent as the tree draws near to its death.
•    Evidence of Agrilus Beetle Holes. Approximately one third of AOD cases display ‘D’ shaped exit holes in the trunk created by the Agrilus Beetle. It is not yet known whether the Agrilus beetle plays a part in the spread or severity of the condition.


It is worthy of note that AOD effects trees much more quickly than ‘Chronic Oak Decline’ and that infected oak trees can die as quickly as four years after the onset of the symptoms described above.


For more detailed information visit: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/acuteoakdecline

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New shirts spur St George’s School

14/05/2015

New shirts have been presented to Shrewsbury’s St George’s Primary School, with players having lots to celebrate. Balfours Property Professionals has sponsored St George’s Primary School football shirts –spurring the teams on to greater success this spring.

Ultimately the girls under 10 years took top honours winning the county cup; while the under 10 boys were pipped at the post on penalties. According to Head of PE, Gareth Jones every team entered by the school has progressed to at least the semi-finals.

He says: “The shirts are a real boost to the children’s’ moral it has given them a real buzz to wear shirts they can be proud of and we are most grateful to Balfours for their sponsorship. Alistair Hilton of Balfours adds: “As a local property agent it is good to be involved with a local project and we are delighted the children appreciate presentation can help them achieve.”

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Farming talk, Tim Perkins

12/05/2015

Continuity and stability are keywords with a majority government now in place, Environment and Farming ministers appointed and a suite of local MPs who should understand the needs of their rural constituencies. There are a number of key issues for farmers and other rural businesses in Shropshire that the government needs to promptly turn its attention to:

Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage: Rural businesses must be able to compete with urban based businesses, communications are key.  The conservatives have said that they will hold mobile phone operators to a promise to provide 90% coverage of the UK land mass by 2017, and will continue to invest in superfast broadband to provide coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017.

Bovine TB: Was a hot topic in the early 1900s, little would anyone think it would remain so contentious into the 21st century. The government must hold firm in its commitment to eradicate bovine TB within 25 years, the current cost of which is estimated to be one billion pounds over the next ten years.

Red Tape: Food producers suffer more regulation and red tape than most.  Much of this is poorly administered and co-ordinated, with duplication and a lack of understanding its implementation. The government has promised to take steps to start to address this by creating a body to co-ordinate farm inspections and eradicate unnecessary and time consuming doubling-up of these.  This is a start that cannot come too soon.

Tax: With the ever increasing uncertainties of the weather and commodity prices, it is welcome common sense news that any farm profits might now be ironed out over a five year period. It does seem unreasonable to charge 4% stamp duty for those purchasing over approximately 50 acres this amounts to an extra cost of £400 per acre to UK land prices.

Europe: Mr Cameron will have some big issues to negotiate; after which he has promised the referendum. However for farmers whilst reform and simplification on the CAP should be welcome, this should not compromise direct payments to farmers which provide the essential stability the industry requires, ultimately protecting both the nation’s food supply in harmony with conservation, wildlife and rural amenities.

Supermarkets: Too often small food producers remain at the mercy of large retailers which is, in the long term, unsustainable and to no one’s benefit. Similar issues are also present for the UK’s dairy producers; numbers of which continue to recede by the week. The government must continue to address this.

If the government’s manifesto promises are kept, we look forward to a sustainable future for the region’s farmers and other rural businesses. The mandate given to them through this election is to hit the ground running.


Tim Perkins is a partner in Balfours Property Professionals.

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