The growing business already owns four garden centres across the south, including Haskins Garden Centre at Longham in Dorset, and had been looking for the right business, in the right location to add to the group.
Chair of Haskins Garden Centres, Warren Haskins said, “We have long admired Forest Lodge, Garden Style and Birdworld and are delighted to welcome the businesses and its teams to the Haskins group. We have created a great culture within Haskins and have worked hard to develop a long-term plan for all our sites, with a view of remaining a family-owned, independent business.
“We are pleased to have held out for the right opportunity and believe that Forest Lodge, Garden Style and Birdworld will be a good cultural fit and will help support our future strategy.”
Roger Head, managing director of former-owner Denys E Head Limited, said, “After setting up the business with my parents forty years ago, we have had an incredible journey and I feel that it is now the right time to retire and therefore sell the business. I have known Warren Haskins throughout this period and believe the Haskins business to be the perfect custodian to continue to develop Forest Lodge, Garden Style and Birdworld. I am very proud of the business and the team of people who have contributed so much to our success and I have worked hard to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible for the team and our customers.”
The site is home to three different parts of the business:
Forest Lodge is an award-winning garden centre and retail outlet, is set on a 6.8-acre site, and boasts an impressive 300-seat restaurant. Located three miles south west of Farnham, it is easily accessible from Guildford, Reading, Southampton, Portsmouth and Andover directly off the A325.
Garden Style Plant Centre is a retail and wholesale business that complements the main garden centre’s offering and represents an opportunity for development.
Birdworld, one of the largest independent tourist attractions in the south east, is spread over 23 acres and has been a popular local destination for the past 50 years. Birdworld has dedicated catering and retail facilities and attracts over 100,000 visitors a year to the bird-park, gardens and aquarium. It also has an extensive conservation and breeding programme.
Warren Haskins said, “As a business we have a lot to learn about Birdworld but already see it as an essential element of the long-term plan for the site.”
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