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Land Agency – The Perspective of a Placement Student

“If you’re passionate about something, you’ll be good at it,” so goes the age old saying, but for many young people, identifying which passion to forge into a career can be a difficult choice. I grew up in rural Yorkshire, and having lived and worked in this environment, entering a land based profession was an easy decision and one I made at an early age.

It is easy to see why so many others have chosen the same path as I did, however it is not all plain sailing for young people who wish to work within the rural sector.

For those who choose agriculture, some are able to succeed to a family farm, whilst others do not even have a farming background; they are simply passionate about the rural areas in which we are fortunate enough to live. At a time when commodity prices are at an historic low, the strong pound is dominating the British economy and with land prices remaining strong, there are some challenging hurdles ahead.

Even at the low points, we need individuals who are prepared to be in it for the long haul and, behind the picturesque hills and beautiful landscapes, there are hard commercial decisions which have to be made.  The passion which drives me to be a successful land agent is the desire to help those families and businesses through the hard times, to work with them to maintain a strong and vibrant countryside.

The reality of working in the agricultural industry is a world away from what is taught in schools; where often students do not know what opportunities are available to them and agriculture is a sector not promoted to its full potential. The role of a land agent is something that cannot be taught at school. The basics can be learnt at University, however, the making of a land agent, can only be truly learnt through experience.

As a trainee, building up my experience on my placement year from Harper Adams University, my role at GSC Grays covers a broad spectrum of work. From assisting with valuations of residential and agricultural property, landlord and tenant disputes, estate management, planning and development, renewables and general professional advice to the everyday client – it is safe to say that no two days are the same and we are extremely lucky that our ‘office’ is the wonderful landscape so many of our clients work hard to maintain.

For those considering a land based career, I would urge you to give thought to land agency as an alternative to some of the more obvious choices.


Kathryn Houghton, Trainee Rural Surveyor with GSC Grays Barnard Castle office.


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