Business Solutions update: Kernon Countryside Consultants – a case study

Kernon Countryside Consultants Ltd are specialist agricultural, equestrian and rural planning consultants, offering expert advice and rural planning services across England and Wales.

Here Sarah Kernon, Director, speaks about her experience working with Emma Boutcher, Director, Business Solutions, Hazlewoods.

Tell me about Kernon Countryside Consultants and the types of projects you work on.

My husband Tony and I set up the business in 1997, when it was still quite a niche industry. Whilst he takes the lead on the professional surveying and consultancy work alongside our two graduates, I manage the accounts, enquiries, fee quotes, credit control, HR, health and safety – basically everything else!

Recently we have seen a shift away from smaller individual rural planning projects, such as change of use, to larger nationwide commercial solar panel and housing infrastructure projects.

How has Hazlewoods helped you manage your business?

After being faced with a large unforeseen tax bill in 2010, we changed accountants and were recommended Hazlewoods as we wanted a local firm. Since then, they have always clearly communicated what tax we owe and when, so that we can plan and save to meet our tax liabilities – there are no more surprises. They have also advised on tax mitigation strategies, such as suggesting we change from a partnership structure to a limited company which has really benefited the business. We really appreciate their ability to think outside the box to make our business work better – something we just don’t have the time to do as a small company.

Tell me about your relationship with Hazlewoods and how you work together?

We meet face to face once or twice a year, but I know that Emma is on hand whenever needed and has been able to point me in the right direction to access expert advice from other teams within Hazlewoods, such as organising staff pensions through Hazlewoods Financial Planning and solving GDPR queries.

What does the future hold for Kernon Countryside Consultants?

Although recruitment is still a struggle within this industry, having built a strong business model, we are well placed to take on the larger projects that are more rewarding and enjoyable – and hopefully leave a bit of time to take a holiday!

For further advice on how our Business Solutions team can support your growing business, please contact Emma Boutcher at or contact the team here.

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