Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 10th September 2018


Greenshifting – swapping London for country life

We’ve probably all heard of downshifting, the decision to put quality of life above career and income, but what about greenshifting? Used to describe people who sell up in the city in the hope of finding a better life in the country, greenshifting is something we know a lot about here at Michael Graham.

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Often people want a life-changer property, offering an opportunity to earn a living in a totally different way.  Buying a country house with land can be the perfect way to make that change happen.  Even if self-sufficiency is a pipe dream too far, land and outbuildings offer numerous opportunities for change.  You could rent out fields or equestrian facilities even if you’re not particularly horsey yourself or set up a glamping business on the land.  If you buy a property with outbuildings, new business venture ideas are endless.  A cookery school or an art studio would work well in a converted stable block, or the space could be rented out for corporate team building events.  And that’s even before you consider the money-making prospects of Airbnb.

If while you’re mulling all this over you want to check your resolve and suitability for a country lifestyle, there are plenty of courses that help you develop useful skills and get yourself in the countryside zone.  BBC nature specialist Kate Humble runs courses from her farm near Monmouth, where her team teach smallholding skills from rearing pigs and sheep to dry stone walling and sustainable beekeeping. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage team do a course in the Southwest and a quick internet search will reveal dozens of other less famous but more local courses to choose from.

A word of caution however.  Before you get carried away with the idea of living the Good Life, be realistic about what you can’t live without.  Tech free days and no Wifi might feel like a blessing on a family holiday, but brave and few are those who can survive for longer than a week.  For modern ‘greenshifters’ your new property will probably have to tick the superfast broadband box as well as having space for chickens.

Are you a greenshifter?  Look below to see if any of our listed properties to buy tempt you to make the move.

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