Agricultural land prices have almost trebled over the last decade, and Wales saw particularly strong price growth during 2014, driven by arable land. However the valuation market is complex and the evolving backdrop to the way landowners and farmers utilise and manage the countryside in Wales and England means that land agents and rural surveyors continually need to progress their profession to keep abreast with changing practices and legislation. The range of work is highly diverse; as well as agriculture, rural surveyors are specialists in all kinds of rural property from landed estates to smallholdings, woodlands to market gardens, and commercial developments to minerals sites. Membership of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) provides our clients with the assurance that we are fully conversant with all the specialisms in often rapidly changing times.
The CAAV is a professional body with over 2,600 members, all highly qualified rural surveyors who advise on the full range of issues affecting farming, landowners and the countryside. To become a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, members must pass rigorous examinations, maintain a commitment to lifelong learning and abide by CAAV rules of conduct.
Chris Hyde, Associate Director with our Land Agency, is a member of the CAAV Wales Examination Committee. He is responsible for organising the two-day CAAV candidates’ exam tutorial at Aberystwyth University, assuming the role from the outgoing organiser Aled Jones, the Assistant Chief Executive of The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. It includes lectures by surveyors, solicitors and planning experts, followed by a practical day at Trawsgoed educational dairy farm. Delegates are expected to have a working knowledge covering the broad spectrum of the rural practice including amongst other things valuation, agriculture, EU Common Agricultural Policy, diversification, farm budgets, marketing and sales, identification and valuation of crops and livestock, L&T matters, compulsory purchase, taxation, planning and renewables.
Examinations are very intense and can focus on many different topics so the tutorials, attended over a maximum of two years, are critical preparation. Candidates come from as far afield as Cumbria to Cornwall and those who go on to earn their fellowship will be true experts in their field, including that of land valuation.