Businessman wants to leave a ‘lasting legacy’ as landmark deal completes

A Derbyshire businessman has sold Common Farm, on the outskirts of Nether Heage, to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The site will be used by the Trust as a newly-formed haven for wildlife and its largest deal to date.

Garner Holdings, led by local landowner and businessman Roger Hartshorn, has sold the 83 acre site.

Hartshorn, who comes from a farming background and continues to keep cattle and sheep on his local farm, said: “I’ve always held a deep connection to the land, and by selling Common Farm to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, who will give the space back to people and nature, the land’s future as a bastion of biodiversity and a sanctuary for the local community is secured.”

Jo Smith, CEO of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, added: “Purchasing Common Farm enables us to create a vital natural green space for Derbyshire, enhancing biodiversity and offering the community unparalleled access to nature. We are delighted that this sale has gone through, and that Roger Hartshorn and Garner Holdings share our commitment to creating more space for nature.”

Harsthorn decided to sell to the Wildlife Trust over competing bids from companies with more intensive, industrial uses in mind for the land.

Hartshorn is planning to redevelop the adjacent old Firs Works site, currently home to Garnalex, which manufactures Sheerline energy-efficient aluminium windows and doors systems, into a new residential scheme.

Hartshorn added: “It’s essential we balance growth with sustainability. By planning a residential area that respects our beautiful Derbyshire, we’re investing in our community’s future. It’s about leaving a legacy that benefits both people and nature.”