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Planning for the Future: Inheritance and Land Ownership

Land ownership has always been synonymous with wealth, stability, and legacy. As we move through the intricacies of life, thinking about the future becomes paramount, especially when considering inheritance for the next generation. How can strategic land development intertwine with inheritance and estate planning? This article delves into the dynamic relationship between the two.

1. The Land Legacy

Owning land, particularly in areas of rising demand, is an appreciating asset. As the landowner, not only do you have the privilege of enjoying its benefits today, but you also have the responsibility of ensuring its continued value for future generations.

2. Strategic Land Development and Its Impact on Inheritance

  • Maximising Asset Value: Developing the land can significantly boost its value. Instead of passing down just a piece of land, you could be leaving behind a developed property with higher earning potential, be it commercial spaces, residential properties, or recreational areas.
  • Tax Implications: In the UK, inheritance tax might apply when you pass on an estate to the next generation. The development of land can influence the estate’s total value. It’s essential to understand these implications and strategise accordingly.
  • Liquid Assets: While land itself can sometimes be illiquid, a developed property can offer more liquidity. This provides heirs with flexibility should they need funds for other ventures or investments.

3. Estate Planning Considerations

  • Clear Documentation: Ensuring that all documents related to the land and any developments are clear and up-to-date is essential. This can prevent disputes among heirs and legal complications.
  • Engage Professionals: Land development and estate planning can be complex. Engaging with financial advisors, tax consultants, and legal professionals can guide you through the nuances of inheritance laws and development regulations.
  • Diversifying Inheritance: With strategic land development, you can diversify the assets you leave behind. For example, different plots or properties can be bequeathed to various family members, aligning with their individual aspirations and needs.
  • Environmental Considerations: As we move towards a greener future, considering sustainable land development practices can be a legacy in itself. This ensures that you’re not only passing down financial assets but also a commitment to the environment.

4. Open Dialogue

It’s essential to maintain an open dialogue with potential heirs about your plans for the land and its development. This can align expectations, clarify intentions, and pave the way for a smoother transition when the time comes.


Strategic land development goes beyond just enhancing the monetary value of your assets. It’s about legacy-building, foresight, and ensuring that the next generation inherits not just land but opportunities. With the right planning, the lands we hold dear today can be the cornerstone for our family’s prosperity tomorrow.


One of the pleasures of life, particularly in summer, is dining with a waterside view. In the New Forest and along Christchurch Bay, we are spoiled with a choice of restaurants and pubs beside rivers or on the coast. Here are just a few of Team Spencers’ favourites.

The Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach is a must-visit. This busy, buzzy, family-friendly hang-out is perfectly positioned on the beach among pastel-coloured beach huts. Coastal vibes don’t come better than this! Seafood aficionados will be happy as they serve Mudeford lobster, local crab and fish fresh from the day boats.

The Cliff House at Barton on Sea is a popular restaurant with rooms perched on the clifftop and enjoying breathtaking views across to the Isle of Wight. A good selection of menus is accompanied by an excellent drinks choice, including cocktails such as Cliff Top Garden and Cliff House Sunset which can be sipped in the gardens. It has a seaside sister bar and restaurant at Milford on Sea: The Light House. Located right on the seafront, The Light House has breezy views of Hurst Spit, serves tasty meals throughout the day from breakfast through to supper, and has a laid-back, coastal casual approach, including live music on the terrace every Friday evening throughout summer.

In Lymington, The Haven Wine Bar & Bistro, tucked away in Lymington Yacht Haven, has a nautical vibe and a dining terrace among the yacht masts with ’wrap-around’ views over the Solent. Menus are strong on seafood, from crab to bass.

Away from the coast, The Old Mill, Silver Road, is a riverside pub with rooms. The pub and its waterside gardens have recently been refreshed and now offer a delightfully soothing spot to wind down and relax over breakfast, lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea.


At Spencers, we love a local show and there is a trio, including a county show and a village show, that we always support and attend as part of our local community. We also find they provide a convivial, relaxed, and fun environment in which to welcome familiar faces, make new friends, and discuss New Forest and coastal life and the local property market.

1 New Forest Show 25-27 July 2023

The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst

Established over 100 years ago, this is an extravaganza of agriculture and countryside. Spencers have long been one of the Show’s main sponsors and have a ringside stand so that visitors can take a seat and watch the action. A few of this year’s attractions include REME Lightning Bolts Army Parachute Display Team, Pony Club Mounted Games and Heavy Horse Musical Drive.

2 Burley Village Show 5 August 2023

Manor Park, Burley Manor

This charming, small traditional country show dates back to 1908. Today it is a celebration of village life, bringing together local people and visitors. However, it has also retained its original format of a flower and produce show with plenty of friendly competition.

3 The Ellingham Show, 12 August

Somerley Park, near Ringwood

The Ellingham and Ringwood Agricultural Society is an entirely volunteer-led charity which stages this family-friendly event to raise money for local good causes – usually in excess of £20,000. This popular Show has plenty of attractions, including Shetland pony racing, heavy horses, steam engines, vintage farm machinery, and dog, donkey, and horse shows.

Live, laugh, love

Spencers are raising laughs along with funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) by holding a comedy night on Wednesday, 28th June, at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.
This Comedy Night is being organised as part of Spencers’ Three Peaks Challenge, launched earlier this year with the goal of raising £20,000 for the BHF in memory of their colleague and friend Justin Hannam who died from a cardiac arrest in September last year.

Others at Spencers were also keen to be involved in the fundraising efforts, including Tracy Harding, Associate Director, Spencers Lettings Office, who has contributed by organising this special Comedy Night. Tracy used to run a monthly comedy club in Lymington, which was always highly successful. Therefore, she approached a London comedy agent she had worked with in the past and they put together a great lineup for Spencers’ Comedy Night.

Tracy Harding says: “The line up are all professional comics travelling around the comedy circuit, including some who have been on TV. However, there are very few opportunities for comics to perform in this particular area, so it is a chance for locals to enjoy an evening of laughter and also an opportunity for the comics to build their following.
The Royal Lymington Yacht Club have been fantastic, offering us the use of their facilities free of charge and helping us to promote the night. I think Justin would have appreciated it as he had a great sense of humour. If this event is successful, we would love to hold further comedy nights and continue our fundraising efforts for this important cause.”

If you want to buy tickets or find out more about the event, email Tracy Harding at [email protected]. To make a donation to Spencers’ Three Peaks Challenge, please visit

‘Live, Laugh, Love’ is taken from Bessie Anderson Stanley’s poem Success which seems a fitting accolade to Justin and his approach to life: “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much… Who has left the world better than he found it…”

New Forest Monopoly ‘BIG REVEAL’ Features Spencers!

Thursday, 27th April saw the ‘Big Reveal’ of a brand new MONOPOLY: New Forest Edition. In this unique edition, Spencers features with our own square and a community chest card, as well as appearing on the back of all property cards!

Spencers is one of 30 plus New Forest organisations to ‘Pass GO’ in the MONOPOLY: New Forest Edition game. The New Forest version of the world’s most popular board game features ‘the great and good’ of the region – from the New Forest National Park Authority to Rufus Stone, Exbury Gardens to Bolton’s Bench, and many more!

What is the New Forest Monopoly?

This timeless classic which first hit the shelves in 1935, has become the world’s favourite family game. In this edition, the multi-coloured MONOPOLY property sites become exclusively New Forest. The cards and tokens have changed, too. The boot game piece gets the boot, literally, along with the top hat, Scottie dog and ship. Amongst those in their place? A pony, a tent and a pig!

The new edition has been produced by games company Winning Moves UK, under licensing from global branded entertainment leader Hasbro. It is in the shops now with local stockists including Waterstones in Lymington where it is currently centre stage in the window display.

The new edition was formally launched at Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, at exactly the same time as it hit the shops. Mr Monopoly went on to visit Spencers’ Lymington office, where the team enjoyed having a go at playing this latest edition.

Rob Batten, Director, Spencers, comments:

“We were delighted to be involved with the MONOPOLY: New Forest Edition game. It is such an entertaining and playful way to tell the story of the New Forest and the local community – although it’s a very different take on the local property market!”

London and Country Property Show 2023

The demand to move out of London has never been higher, so there has never been a better time to market your property to a wider audience.

The New Forest and surrounding coastal area are experiencing an extremely high demand for quality properties and homes, with families choosing to escape cities, keen for more space and a better quality of life.

On Tuesday, 16 May, The London and Country Property Show 2023 will be held at Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3. Our associates will be marketing Spencers properties from across our five branches: Brockenhurst, Burley, Christchurch Bay, Lymington and Ringwood, to serious buyers from London and beyond.

Our experienced team, all of whom live in the area, are perfectly placed to share their expert knowledge with buyers keen to move into the area and learn more about properties currently on the market with Spencers.

Andrew Grice, Associate Director, explains.

“Whether you are inquisitive about moving to the New Forest, the coastal hotspots of Lymington and Milford, or the popular Christchurch Bay area, or interested in investing in property, then we can inform and advise you. The London and Country Property Show provides an ideal opportunity to chat to the Spencers team; we can answer questions relating to specific properties we are currently marketing, as well as provide balanced advice on topics such as local schools, commuting times and more.”

If you are considering selling and would like to put your property in the London eye, please contact one of our offices.

More Information

The London and Country Property Show 2023
Tuesday 16 May
Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Rd, Chelsea, SW3.


Spencers New Forest are on a fundraising journey. The objective is to raise £20,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in memory of colleague and friend, Justin Hannam, who died in September 2022 after his heart failed.

Spencers Three Peaks Challenge will take place in September 2023, marking the first anniversary of Justin’s death, with a team drawn from across all Spencers’ offices climbing the three highest mountains in the UK.

Pippa Grant, Senior Associate in Spencers’ Brockenhurst office, where Justin Hannam was based, explained: “We lost our lovely colleague and friend so suddenly and so sadly last September after his heart failed. Justin loved life and, with his beautiful family, certainly lived it to the full. It will be an honour to contribute much needed-funds for the British Heart Foundation in his memory. We have a target of £20,000, however it would be wonderful to punch through this figure!”

The Fundraising campaign was launched by Ben Bishop, Fundraising Manager, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, BHF, at the official opening of the newly refurbished Lymington offices.

"Team Spencers Three Peaks Challenge 2023"

Ben Bishop said: “What the team at Spencers are doing is truly inspirational. The Three Peaks Challenge is no small feat and will be a wonderful way for them to remember their colleague, Justin, as well as raising funds for the BHF. We are all incredibly grateful to the team and wish them the best of luck with this venture. The money they raise will help us continue our research into heart and circulatory diseases and discover the breakthroughs that can help give families more time with the ones they love.”

A fundraising platform has been set up with the support of the BHF. If you would like to contribute, visit

Rebecca Hannam, Justin’s wife, has said that she loves the idea of keeping Justin’s memory alive in this way. She said it would also be poignant that Spencers’ Three Peaks Challenge Team will be completing the challenge on the first anniversary of Justin’s passing and also on his birthday.

The Forest in Winter: Cosy Pubs

For simple seasonal pleasures in the New Forest, pull on your boots for a winter’s walk followed by a pint in front of an open fire at one of the many pubs scattered across the New Forest.

Here are a few favourites.

The Royal Oak, Fritham.

Let’s start with The Royal Oak, Fritham. This authentic rustic thatched pub on a no through lane has been named one of the top country pubs by the Good Pub Guide and its hearty ploughman’s has featured on BBC TV’s Remarkable Places to Eat. Dating back to the 1600s, this is a proper pub where walkers and cyclists prop up the bar, dogs warm themselves in front of the log fire, and local ales are poured direct from the cask, including Bowman’s Royal Oak.

The Horse & Groom

The Horse & Groom, Woodgreen, is a popular village pub with woodburners to warm yourself by, acheerful welcome and menu of updated pub classics.

The Oak

The Oak, Bank, is tucked away, yet strollable from Lyndhurst. This is a cosy little place full of character and charm with log fire, low beams and milk-churn stools at the bar.

The Red Lion

The Red Lion, Boldre, is a traditional country inn with log fires in the grate and comes highly recommended for its very good food.

Keep up to date with Spencers Estate Agents, Lymington for news and updates in the local area.

Thatched Roof Guide

Evocative of the countryside and days gone by, a thatched roof is a coveted original feature. Thatch has been used as a roof covering for millennia and was the dominant material across much of the UK and Europe up to the late 19th century. A large number of charming thatched properties remain today, including across the New Forest. The main thatching materials used in the UK today are cereal straws and water reeds.

Historic England recognises the significance of thatched properties as a rich regional tradition that contributes to the local distinctiveness of buildings. They encourage the conservation of traditional thatch and actively seek to conserve the character of historic buildings, protect any material of archaeological importance and sustain traditional techniques and skills.

Whilst thatched properties epitomise the quintessential countryside home, taking on the maintenance of these traditional homes can feel daunting. If you are thinking of purchasing a property with a thatched roof, here are some top tips so, you will know what to look for and what questions to ask before you take the plunge…

How long does a thatch roof last?

Straw and reed are natural products which, under any conditions, will gradually wear through the actions of weathering and the processes of natural decay. You should expect from time to time, it will require some maintenance or to be replaced. Many factors contribute to the life expectancy and durability of an individual thatched roof. Factors such as local geographical conditions, maintenance history, aspect, climate, original thatch technique and birds/vermin will all play a part.

Get a full electrical check done 

Dodgy wiring and thatched roofs don’t mix! In addition to your survey, get a qualified electrician to assess. Most insurers will require an inspection of electrical circuits every 5-10 years going forwards.

Investigate house insurance costs 

It’s a common belief that thatched properties mean sky-high prices, but this isn’t necessarily the case. To receive an accurate quote, approach insurers who specialise in thatch properties, a full list can be found here. It’s important to get the right cover based on your property and circumstances, as undervaluation may affect the settlement in the event of claims.

Don’t be put off by the state of the existing thatch 

Just because it looks dirty does not necessarily mean it needs re-thatching. Simple repair and strengthening or just a good clean is often sufficient. Get a professional thatcher in to judge; if anything does need doing you may be able to negotiate the asking price with the vendors.

Employ the professionals

Thatching is a skill that is acquired over time. The National Society of Master Thatchers is a great resource for searching for a skilled and registered thatcher.

Research re-thatching restrictions 

More than 75% of all thatched properties in England and Wales are listed on The National Heritage List for England . If yours is one of them or is situated within a conservation area, there will be certain guidelines when it comes to re-thatching. Different styles and materials will require permission from your local authority.

Always get more than one quotation 

As with any home improvement, it’s always a good idea to get competitive quotes as they can vary widely. Ideally, you would want at least three from respectable thatchers – ask the owners of neighbouring thatched houses for recommendations.

Fire Safety

If you have an open fire or wood burner, make sure you have your flue and chimney inspected by a professional to ensure that the brick or stonework and lining are in good condition. Make sure you take all the usual precautions such as having your chimney swept at least once a year and ensuring you have a working fire alarm fitted.

For those contemplating a move to an idyllic thatched home, here are just a few of our favourites currently on the market with Spencers New Forest.

Keep up to date with Spencers Estate Agents, Lymington for news and updates in the local area.

Sustainable Christmas ideas: 8 ways to make this Xmas a little greener

The festive season is traditionally the period of peak consumption when we go all out on gifts and food to impress our guests. But with a little expert know-how, you can host an eco-friendly Christmas without skimping on the festive magic. From the tree you buy to the food you eat, everything – no matter how big or small – can make a huge difference.

Here’s how to go green this Christmas.

1. Rent, recycle or reuse your tree

We all love a Christmas tree. But did you know around eight million trees are cut and discarded in the UK each year. A cut tree has a carbon footprint of up to 16kg of CO2, whereas a live tree continues to absorb CO2.

The most environmentally friendly way to have a tree is to rent one. Try ECO Elf in Totton, who work with the best growers across the UK to provide a high-quality living tree delivered directly to your door and then collected again in January so it can be used the following year.

If you can’t rent, buy a potted spruce, and grow it in your garden for reuse each year. Or buy an FSC-certified tree to ensure it’s from a well-managed forest and recycle it properly – most councils recycle trees by turning them into chippings, reducing their carbon footprint by up to 80 per cent compared with sending them to landfill. Plastic trees, which can only go to landfills, have double a real tree’s carbon footprint. If you already have one, keep using it, though.

2. Make your own sustainable Christmas decorations

It takes the shine off the decorations when you discover that neither tinsel nor baubles are recyclable. Make your own instead with salt-dough hanging decorations, dried orange slice ornaments and sticks of cinnamon for the tree. Each is fully compostable, while wreaths made using foraged materials like pine cones, ivy and holly can be recycled at the kerbside.

Or get your secateurs at ready and join one of the many Christmas wreath workshops at Chewton Glen, The New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst or Rosie Lea’s in Lymington.

Sustainable handmade Christmas decorations.

3. Ditch the outside Christmas lights, go solar inside

Outdoor Christmas lights create so much light pollution that even Nasa can see them from space, so it can be beneficial to keep festive illuminations inside. Decorative lights cost the UK £3.75m a day to run over the festive period, so opt for solar-powered LED tree lights. Turn them off at night.

4. Choose cards wisely – and recycle any you receive

It’s a long-held festive tradition to send Christmas cards in the UK, and we send an estimated 1.05bn Christmas cards each year, but 1bn of them don’t get recycled – the equivalent of cutting down nearly 350,000 trees. 1 Tree Cards sell 100 per cent recycled cards, printed with vegan inks and using renewable energy. Plus, for every card they send, they plant a tree through Eden Reforestation Projects. Alternatively, buy recycled or FSC-certified cards and avoid those with glitter or plastic.

Pile of Christmas cards.

5. Buy less, buy ethically, and buy local

A YouGov survey found that 57 per cent of people in the UK receive at least one unwanted gift, so ask people what they want for Christmas – or give them a few options to choose from. Our own ethical gift guide has lots of great ideas but focuses on buying less and buying better. If researching gifts online, try an ethical search engine, and use not-for-profit Ecosia. 80 per cent of their advertising revenue funds reforestation efforts in countries like Brazil and Indonesia. Plus, they don’t save your searches, track the websites you visit, or sell your data.

Or buy your presents from local shops and businesses. Small business Saturday is back again on the 3rd of Dec. The campaign highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. Many small businesses participate in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

6. Wrap gifts using Furoshiki or recyclable brown paper

The UK throws away obscene amounts of wrapping paper, and the plastic, foil, glitter, and sticky tape on many sheets make them unrecyclable. Furoshiki, a traditional, reusable Japanese wrapping cloth, is a fab alternative – or else use recyclable brown paper.

7. Buy sustainable Christmas crackers

According to, 99 per cent of Brits throw away the plastic gifts inside crackers. Either buy sustainable Christmas crackers that are plastic-free or try making your own with small homemade gifts.

8. Buy food locally and support smaller producers

“By shopping locally, we can talk to people about where our food comes from, to make informed decisions about the kind of food we want to eat, and the farming practices we want to support,” explains Lucia Monje-Jelfs from the Sustainable Food Trust.

Do your research for a sustainable Christmas dinner. The Farms to Feed Us database highlights small-scale producers growing food using resilient farming systems, whilst Big Barn pulls together more than 600 artisan and specialist producers who support local, sustainable agriculture. Buy local wherever possible from producers like Paul Tanners Turkeys, who pride themselves on high-quality free-range birds reared in the heart of Boldre.

The UK throws away a reported 2m turkeys at Christmas, crowning 270,000 tonnes of uneaten festive grub. To reduce waste, clear the fridge before Christmas, and plan and portion your meals sensibly. Share any leftovers on Olio, an app that pairs you with neighbours who might need them – and supplies recipes to make the best use of leftovers.