Sussex consultancy to celebrate anniversary at Heathfield Agricultural Show

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A Sussex company is marking its 20th anniversary, with visitors to the Heathfield Agricultural Show invited to join the celebrations on Saturday, May 25.

CLM, a firm of land, property and business consultants based in Hartfield, has grown over the past two decades from “an idea on a Post-it note” to a nationally respected business employing more than 20 local people.

The company was co-founded by Mark Weaver and the late Tim Calcutt as a partnership providing hands-on farm management services.

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“I had no idea what CLM would evolve into, but if anyone had told me what the firm would look like in 20 years’ time I would never have believed them – it’s grown way beyond my dreams,” says Managing Director Mark Weaver.

Mark WeaverMark Weaver
Mark Weaver

Farming and the countryside have been constantly changing over that period,” he adds. “The weather’s changed, the subsidy system has changed, the legislation has changed, the technology has changed and society’s expectation of what they want from farmers has changed. I just had a sense back then that farmers and land managers would need constant professional advice in a fast-changing world like this.

“This is a beautiful part of the world to work in,” says Mark. “Sussex is a hugely diverse and successful county from an agricultural point of view. It’s a different landscape to what it was two decades ago – we’ve seen everything from the proliferation of vineyards and the establishment of the South Downs National Park to farmers diversifying and the increasing focus on farming in nature-friendly ways.”

CLM has carved out a reputation as a sector leader in integrating environmental projects within thriving farm businesses and now works with many Sussex-based pioneering landowners.

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From their barn-style offices, the CLM team includes land agents, farm business advisers, planners, valuers, environmental specialists, agriculturalists, ecologists and property experts, who boost the bottom line of clients ranging from family farms and landed estates to property developers and international investors.

For many years, the firm has had a stand at the Heathfield Agricultural Show, which typically attracts about 18,000 visitors. Mark and the team will be on hand again this year to offer visitors a drink and informal advice about land and property issues.

While CLM’s roots are very much in Sussex and the South East, it has increased its footprint geographically and now works across the southern counties and into East Anglia. It even has clients in Europe.

“Ultimately, though, we want to stay boutique-sized as this ensures we can cultivate the close and long-lasting professional relationships with clients that enable us to offer the best service,” says Mark.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from 20 years of running a company, it’s that businesses are about people, not numbers on a spreadsheet.”

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