Published: 06:00, 23 October 2020
A 42-acre strip of Kent woodland is on the market for £1.5 million.
Hoades Wood in Sturry, Canterbury, is being advertised as an area that offers “excellent sporting opportunities” or as an investment opportunity by estate agency Appleton Properties.
The firm's director Jason Appleton insists it is not being sold with permission to be turned into housing or other developments.
He said: "We're categorically telling people it's not being sold with planning permission or future permissions; we’re selling it as just an investment in woodland.
“Its uses depend on planning. We've had people enquire about that before and we've said that's not the case."
Mr Appleton says the site would appeal to nature lovers.
“It represents a nice way to be out in nature, while also being near a shop,” he said.
“People like walking around in woods, it’s a nice thing to own and it’s lovely being in nature.
“It would lend itself to being a teaching area you’d be able to take children to.”
Mr Appleton says the land, which has preservation orders on its large oak trees, is home to squirrels and a number of types of birds.
Despite not being fenced off to ramblers, the wood does not have any public footpaths.
And Mr Appleton says there have been legal battles in the past surrounding its status.
“People have used it in the past, but there isn’t a public right of way,” he added.
“There are signs up saying it’s private property, but unless you fence it all off - and we have fenced areas before - people will help themselves to the logs and the trees.”
The privately-owned plot, which is off Babs Oak Hill, has attracted interest from potential buyers, with one looking to add it to their pension pot.
Between 2014 and 2017, figures from property firm Strutt and Parker show that owners of woodland saw an average return of 14.7% on their investment.
The rise was greater than that seen on commercial units, homes and bonds.
“Land in general increases in value over time,” Mr Appleton continued.
“I think it’s one of those things that people would perhaps buy for a pension scheme.”