I’ve been involved in farming all my life; in 2007 I bought five acres of land to start an organic market garden “Jollity Farm”. To find the very best land I used a detailed soil map of South Derbyshire looking for a field with a deep sandy loam soil, gently sloping towards the south, with no intensively farmed land nearby. The land I found had the bonus of naturally rising water at it’s highest point and I sank a water bore hole 110 meters, 360 feet deep……….
To cut a very long story short I eventually built a timber house on the site of my greenhouse (see photo), now the house with 0.9 acres of fabulous land is for sale due to divorce and age.
To be a sustainable house the timber should be sourced locally, well it’s not, the timber came from Finland because the short arctic summers make for slow grown timber which is much stronger, of a higher quality than UK timber and the Fins build timber houses.
A laminated timber post and beam house with an open plan living dinning kitchen, cloakroom, utility, sauna, four bedrooms and bathroom. The floor plan is 228 square meters, 2454 square feet including the veranda and balcony. The house has many eco/passive house qualities, the walls, floor and roof are deeply insulated with sheep’s wool. The windows and doors are all triple glazed. The main windows face south and are shaded by the overhanging roof. Underfloor heating and hot water comes from a ground source heat pump located in the outside store, with heat pipes buried in the garden. Foul water runs to a bio-pure sewage treatment plant. The house has a fibre cable internet connection and mains electricity but there is considerable space to install solar panels and be off grid. The house was passed off by Building Control in 2018, but it has no builders guarantee, not something I thought about as I expected to live in it not sell it. It’s in a great location not overlooked by other properties or public rights of way and has uninterrupted distant views. There are no commuter roads in the area and night time light levels are low. The nearest shops are a twenty minute WALK, the nearest city is Derby a fifteen minute drive or the town of Ashbourne a twenty minute drive.
If you believe like me that being self-sufficient, having your own water supply, growing your own food and living off grid makes lots of sense then this house could be for you.