A strong strategic document will help an estate owner and the other stakeholders to understand an estate, what it comprises of and what can be done with it to achieve their desired outcomes.

Iain’s long and diverse career in rural real estate has given him an invaluable breadth of knowledge in managing rural estates. This is useful when facilitating Whole Estate Plans, Integrated Land Management Plans and other strategic planning documents for land holdings.

A Whole Estate Plan or other strategic planning exercise will consider:

  • the reason for holding the asset
  • the vision, objectives and ethos of the controlling organisation, person or family
  • what resources the asset and the organisation have
  • opportunities and threats
  • internal and external risks
  • short, medium and long term objectives
  • the actions or projects required in the short term to meet those objectives.
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How we work

The ground work will be undertaken by Skinner Holden researching the assets as well as the relevant planning issues and organisational policies. We will then work with you to create a vision for the estate and identify the opportunities and risks that that involves.

Who we work with

Iain has worked with a wide range of charities, government departments and rural estates. The Strategic Management Plans he creates guide the trustees, directors and officers in the management of their estates, helping to ensure the stability of the estates for years to come.

Reviewing your rural business

Effective strategic plans, tailored to your organisation.

Whether it is to review the progress of a partnership, take a fresh look at your portfolio or re-energise a landed estate, the process of producing a new or revised strategic asset and estate management plan can refocus minds and open your eyes to the potential in front of you.

In the past Skinner Holden has undertaken reviews of popular visitor sites in order to create new income streams, provided complete 10 year asset management plans for extensive rural estates and reviewed extensive woodland across an estate to identify commercial and non-forestry opportunities.

Iain has worked with numerous organisations to enable strategic estate planning exercises and create sustainable Whole Estate Plans or targeted documents for specific issues. These plans have helped organisations achieve their goals.

Examples of his work include:

  • As a Director of the South Downs Commercial Organisation, Iain is regularly consulted on strategic estates issues to enable the business plan to move forward.

  • Iain has worked with several wildlife trusts, reviewing their rural land holding to identify opportunities to increase visitor engagement and income.

  • Iain drafted the Rural Estate Strategy for the Surrey County Council Rural Estate.

  • Iain worked with the Forestry Commissioners to facilitate and draft the Whole Estate Plan for the Gravetye Estate in Sussex.

  • Iain facilitated Integrated Land Management Plans on the Ministry of Defence Training Estate.

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Many local planning authorities, including the South Downs National Park, look more favourably on appropriate planning applications from estates with Whole Estate Plans. However, a good strategic document will also help an estate owner and other stakeholders to understand an estate, what it comprises of and what can be done with it to achieve their desired outcomes.

A good strategic planning process will create opportunities and identify threats, enabling actions to be taken early to avoid the pitfalls, helping to ensure that the strategic objectives can be met.

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“Iain did a great job establishing a strategy for an historic rural property with complex property rights structure. His clarity of vision, coupled with a realistic approach to project management, formed the basis of a sound business plan for the property.”

Dr Victoria Edwards, former Forestry Commissioner (Chief Executive, Ernest Cook Trust)