A decade-long development project to integrate four adjoining New England properties into a sustainable beef production unit has resulted in a top-drawer aggregation now for sale as “Glendon Park”.
Comprising 3234 hectares (7993ac), the aggregation today ranks as one of the larger land parcels in the Armidale district and also one of the most diverse, in terms of its composition and its enterprise scope.
It has been listed by Mike Clifton of Colliers International for sale by expressions of interest in what is being seen locally as a timely test of market demand for well watered Eastern Fall grazing land.
“Glendon Park” is owned by former global investment banker Renatto Barbieri and his partner, Armidale-born Charlotte Wright, known as Charlie, who are selling “Glendon Park” to pursue other agricultural projects overseas.
They embarked on the present venture with the purchase of “Lambs Valley” in 2008. Within two years they had added “Duffries”, “Top School” and lastly the former piggery “Glendon Park”, to create the aggregation now for sale.
Situated in the Lyndhurst district about 40 kilometres north-east of Armidale, “Glendon Park” is a mix of plateau, valley and hilly country with soil types ranging from basalt to trap and granite.
Elevation range is 1000-1300 metres and average rainfall from 800mm to 1050mm.
Of the total area, about 85 per cent is usable grazing country, lightly timbered with shade and shelter trees. The balance includes a fenced-off area of 433ha of remnant forest with carbon credit potential.
Pastures are a productive mix of native grasses and introduced clovers, ryegrass, cocksfoot and fescue, topdressed under targeted programs.
A major initiative undertaken by the owners has been the implementation of a rotational grazing system as a means of fostering soil health and maximising retention of ground cover.
This entailed the erection of some 85km of new fencing, to create 112 paddocks (previously 48) together with connecting laneways, plus the construction of 120 new dams.
The ongoing upgrading of pastures, fencing and water infrastructure has been aimed at giving the property the capability to carry 2000 breeding cows (in 10 mobs of 200) in a 12-week rotation.
At present the property is carrying about 700 cows of composite breeds, raising calves to feeder weights, although cow numbers in earlier years reached around 1500.
Already the rotational grazing program is reported to be having the intended effect of enhancing soil structure.
Although now focused on beef production, the property is well suited to sheep (all four component properties previously carried finewool Merinos) and comes with three equipped woolsheds.
Further diversification is possible with 70ha already developed for irrigation from three dams on “Glendon Park” (and potential for a further 60ha), while the 15 concrete pads remaining from the former piggery offer scope for a range of intensive enterprises.
Other working improvements include three new sets of steel cattle yards, each with concrete race, crush, covered working area and drafting facilities, lockable machinery shed, workshop and silos.
Three renovated homes on “Glendon Park” include a main, four-bedroom homestead of double brick set in 1ha of gardens, plus a five-bedroom weatherboard home and a three-bedroom cottage.