The price of agricultural land in the UK has doubled in the past 18 months, according to land agents, partly under the influence of overseas buyers. Financial Times

Mark McAndrew, partner at Strutt & Parker land agency, said that good quality arable land was fetching £6,000-£6,500 ($12,000-$13,000, €7,500-€8,100) an acre in many parts of the country, up from £3,000-£3,500 before.

Buyers from Denmark and Ireland have been piling into the UK for several years, attracted by lower prices for good arable land. They have also been seeking land in eastern Europe but, according to Mr McAndrew, many have preferred the UK as being closer to home and more familiar.

He estimated that 30-40% of buyers in the eastern counties of England were coming from overseas.

Land prices fell between 1997 and 2003 in the UK, after farming crises such as BSE and foot-and-mouth disease.