“That is important, to partner with a company that is not just selling the equipment, but knows what they are doing to support it,” he says.

The value of cryptocurrencies can be volatile depending on what is happening in the world – geopolitical events and statements by key players in the market can have a big impact. But Mr Hughes, who has been mining since March 2019, says he is looking at it as a long-term venture and is largely choosing to keep the coins he mines.

“It is rather like stocks and shares, and the day you sell them is really the day of reckoning to see how successful the project has been. While people do take money out monthly, I don’t think that is the majority of people’s attitude.”

How the cryptocurrency market will be regulated in future is one of the big unknowns, with the potential to have a significant impact on values. But Mr Hughes says the rigs have alternative applications to mining. “People who are buying these bits of equipment could turn them to other uses,” he says.

‘Rent a tree’ farm diversification schemes

Fruit growers are tapping into people’s desire to get more in touch with nature and improve their understanding of where their food comes from with a novel “rent a tree” scheme. A number of producers in the south of England are operating schemes allowing members of the public to rent a cherry, apple, pear or cobnut tree for a season, giving them the right to harvest that year’s fruit for their own use.

The rent is typically £30-35 for an apple tree, rising to £45-£50 for a cherry tree. Each participant is allocated a specific tree and will usually be invited to come and see it in the spring when it is in blossom and will be notified as the season progresses when the best time for harvesting will be. Email updates detailing what is happening in the orchard and how the crop is progressing will be sent to customers. In between, the trees are managed by the grower. The season ends with a designated period during which sponsors can visit to harvest the fruit, with guidance given on picking fruit safely.