Masters of their own ship

Husband and wife team Duncan and Sarah established Howie, Kent & Co in 2016. They decided to put the knowledge they’d gained from working within national surveying firms, together with experience and learnings from both their respective family farm businesses, towards running their own firm. As masters of their own ship, they also spend their time running the 300 cow autumn calving dairy herd from their home in Shropshire. Their approach is hands on and they love nothing more than getting results for their varied and interesting clients.

Read on to find out more about their individual expertise…

Sarah Howie


Sarah worked at a national surveying firm for five years after graduating from the University of Cambridge having read Land Economy. Sarah has carried out work for private and institutional clients, charities, landlords and tenants, advising on estate management and landlord and tenant matters, land sales and providing general consultancy advice to both landowners and farmers. Sarah is a partner in the family dairy farm in Shropshire and spends her time being a director of Howie, Kent & Co as well as assisting in the management of the herd of 300 dairy cows.

Sarah is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. Sarah has also completed the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Certificate in Trusts and Estates (England & Wales).

Sarah is most at home whilst outside, whether that is on a horse, running, or working with the cows.

T 07967 398055



Duncan Howie


Duncan has been involved in the rural industry for the last ten years, working for a national surveying firm for five of them. He advises landowners, farmers, investors and developers in relation to general rural professional matters including land management and development. He specialises in rural agency, both in the traditional purchase and sale of land as well as being involved in specialist site-finding services for renewable and non-renewable energy clients.

Duncan is involved in the management of the 300 cow autumn calving herd in Shropshire as well as being a partner in his family’s pig and arable business based in Essex.

He is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. He is also past chairman of the Royal Agricultural College Student Union, of Essex Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and also the Eastern Area of Young Farmers Clubs. Duncan spoke at the Oxford Farming Conference in 2014 in favour of renewable energy at the annual Oxford Union debate.

Duncan enjoys country pursuits and training his Labrador puppy Boda.

T 07813 793703


Melissa Vanner

Lettings Manager

Melissa is the most recent addition to the Howie Kent & Co team bringing with her over 10 years experience in the property sector. Melissa started her career as a receptionist and has worked her way through the ranks to her post as Lettings Manager. Melissa has acted for private clients and resident management companies, in relation to property lettings and service charge management, which she has a particular interest in. Melissa is Shropshire born and bred and has always based herself in Shropshire but has dealt with property matters across the West Midlands and further afield.

Melissa spends her time outside of the office occupying her 2 young children, who like Melissa enjoy the great outdoors. Most weekends you will find Melissa and her family at a National Trust property.

T 01743 404925


Sarah Thurmer

Sarah has recently joined us as a PA / Lettings Assistant which she will work alongside completing her law conversion course. Sarah graduated in Modern Foreign Languages and has since worked in Europe and the UK in various secretarial and project management roles. Sarah converted to law in autumn 2018 when she moved back to Shrewsbury, her hometown, to pursue this change in career.

Sarah joined the team to take on some of the secretarial work and help with residential lettings as she learns more about the property industry and will begin studying Land Law in the next year.

Sarah loves to travel, and now living in Shropshire again spends a lot of her spare time exploring the county and walking the Shropshire hills.

T 01743 404925