Vickers and Barrass is a firm of Rural Chartered Surveyors offering a professional land agency service throughout the North East of England.
The business was established by Harry Vickers in 1973 and in September 2012 it was acquired by Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Limited to expand their range of services. TH Vickers Limited trading as Vickers and Barrass is now fronted and managed by Adam Barrass BSC (Honours in REALM, MRICS, FAAV) and Harry Vickers (BSC FRICS) who continues to work as a consultant.



Jointly favoured with instructions from R G Russell & Company Limited

Vickers and Barrass

Chartered Surveyors

in conjunction with

Harrison & Hetherington

Farmstock Auctioneers, Brokers & Valuers

Will offer for sale by auction, due to a change in farming policy, on

SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2016 at 11 am


A comprehensive selection of agricultural machinery and farming equipment to include


For full inventory and pictures please click here


The National Sheep Association has announced that the major sponsors for one of the sheep industry’s most important events, NSA North Sheep, will be Tow Law based rural chartered surveyors Vickers & Barrass in conjunction with Darlington Farmers Auction Mart.  Returning to County Durham 2017 NSA North Sheep will take place on Wednesday 7 June at West Shields Farm near Tow Law, courtesy of W.H Smith & Sons a family run partnership managed by John Smith alongside his two sons David and Alan and his nephew Jim

Vickers & Barrass (formerly T H Vickers & Sons) are firmly cemented in the local rural and agricultural community and have been operating as auctioneers and valuers for over 65 years.

Darlington Farmers Auction Mart is a long established Auction centre based in the heart of County Durham within the town boundary of Darlington, DFAM is the main centre for sales of prime cattle and sheep in the north east of England, the company also handles large numbers of store and breeding stock at weekly and seasonal sales throughout the year.

Vickers and Barrass offer a wide range of services from sales of farm property and farming stock, farm management, valuations, dispute resolution, compensation and compulsory purchase claims and Basic Payment Scheme claims together with Environmental Stewardship matters.

With clients stretching from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire, Adam Barrass practice manager at Vickers & Barrass Chartered Surveyors and Andrew Armstrong director and senior auctioneer of DFAM explain why they were so keen to be a part of next year’s NSA North Sheep.

“We are very closely linked to the Smith family at West Shields Farm and the wider farming industry in this area. Many of our clients are sheep farmers and when the NSA announced that 2017 North Sheep would be held so close to our main office and on one of our clients’ farms we felt it was important to be part of it.”

NSA North Sheep is a key biennial showcase for the UK sheep industry and has a reputation for bringing together industry innovators. The thousands of visitors expected to flock to West Shields Farm will see first-hand how a progressive County Durham farming family operates their 900 acre traditional mixed farm with a commercial sheep flock of 1,350 Mules. They will also be able to attend talks by industry professionals and businesses aimed at giving farmers the chance to bring themselves up to date with the latest developments in sheep farming.

Event organiser Heather Stoney-Grayson, commenting on the announcement, said

“Vickers and Barrass and Darlington Farmers Auction Mart have been supporters of NSA North Sheep for years so it is wonderful that they are to be the major sponsors this year.  Support like this is absolutely integral to the success of the event. Vickers and Barrass have really strong ties to the local farming community and they are well respected and have an excellent understanding of the sheep industry so they are without doubt a perfect fit for North Sheep and our values.”

As an organisation the National Sheep Association (NSA) represents the views and interests of sheep producers throughout the UK, receiving tremendous support from everyone connected with the industry. The NSA is funded by the memberships of its sheep farmers. Together with the many industry related activities it is involved with, it aims to ensure that it plays a key part in every aspect of the sheep farming sector.

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Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU there has been a lot of concern and uncertainty regarding future EU funding for farmers. As predicated by Vickers & Barrass the Treasury have announced that farmers will receive funding until 2020. In a recent press release it appears that all funds that would otherwise come from the EU for the years up to and including 2020 that currently pay for Basic Payment Scheme, the greening element and the Young Farmers Top up payment will be met by the UK after withdrawal from the EU.


Natural England has recently written to agreement holders who have ELS and HLS agreements with rotational arable options. This is to inform Natural England where your rotational options are located. These options have to be clearly marked on your claim form which should have been submitted prior to 16 May 2016, however if the location has been changed or you were unsure where the option was going to be then Natural England need to be informed before 1 September 2016. There is further guidance on their website.


Details of the new Countryside Stewardship are still unclear. The deadline for new applications is the end of September but it is not clear if there is sufficient time for applications to be received and processed by the end of November when the Autumn Financial Statement takes place. A spokesperson said “EU funded schemes are vitally important to driving investment in our rural economy and delivering environmental benefits. There is no justifications not to continue with these schemes up until the UK leaves the EU” The statement continues to say they are encouraging members to make applications as this is important to wildlife habitats and the planting of hedgerows must continue.


If you have applied to the Rural Payments Agency for derogation to cut/trim hedges during August then you should have received confirmation from them. No cutting or trimming of hedges is allowed during August without this derogation unless for highway safety. Under Cross Compliance rules cutting are allowed from 1 September. In December this year you should complete the Annual Inventory of Sheep, this is compulsory and you may be penalised by the Rural Payments Agency if you fail to complete this form.


Natural England has confirmed they have received further guidance for the Hedgerow & Boundaries capital grant applications which was open earlier this year. Applicants should find out by19 August 2016 if their application has been successful. Anyone who has had an ELS agreement which has expired, you can apply to Natural England for a grant of up to maximum £5000 for walling and hedgerow planting over a 2 year period. A new window for further applications will begin in February 2017. Please note this is a competitive scheme and you application will be scored on an individual bases.


RDPE Funding including Countryside Stewardship Applications. Defra are yet to make a decision regarding ongoing and new RDPE funding. They have confirmed that discussions with the treasury are still ongoing however in the mean time they have clarified that:

  • all existing RDP schemes remain in place
  • new applications to schemes such as Countryside Stewardship are still being accepted and appraised
  • all current claims from existing agreements and contracts should be paid.

On the 4th August the Bank of England made the decision to lower their base rate from 0.5% down to 0.25%. Along with this they have introduced a package of measures which aim to increase the flow of money within the Economy through increased spending. The package of measures includes the Term Funding Scheme (TFS) which aims to provide banks with close to base rate borrowing to allow the benefits of this reduced rate to help the cut in interest rate more effectively benefit households and firms.
The reduction in interest rates and borrowing costs consequently makes investment a more attractive proposition. So how does the change in Bank of England base rate affect the agricultural land market?Agricultural land is seen as a safe haven for investors. The uncertainty that is felt within the economy in the lead up to leaving the EU is likely to support investment in the Agricultural Land Market. This is likely to be the case for the near future until more information is known about future UK trade deals, import and export tariffs and decisions about future farming subsidies.  This view is supported by recent market evidence through sales carried out by Vickers and Barrass.

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