Thatch Advice Centre Newsletter May 2015

Your response to the last newsletter was Exceptional.

Thank you all so much for reading it and engaging with us.  It makes all our hard work (given for free) worthwhile.

As you all know we love thatch.

Did you know that we have been running the website for almost 10 years?



In this Newsletter:

Click on the title to show the details.

Launch of our Thatch Directory

Launch of Our Thatch Directory Website

We have received so many enquiries from people searching for specialists to help them with their thatched properties – so we decided to create a bespoke Thatch Directory, designed especially to meet those needs and to make the introductions easier.  At last, easy to find thatch specialists.  There is nothing like it, an independent hub where people can find experienced businesses.  Linked from the Thatch Advice Centre information website – it extends our Complete Thatching Resource, and will fund its own development.

Filling a specialist website with relevant referenced contacts does not happen overnight.  We have spent years planning, designing and developing the Thatch Directory concept, so populating it appropriately is very important.

We’d like to welcome all of our Thatch Advice Centre Associates to our growing Thatch Community.

The Directory includes Local Resources (Council and Fire Service Contacts).

Scroll to the bottom of this Newsletter to see the Specialist Categories in The Thatch Directory.

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Dealing with Thatch Pests

More info as promised on pests

Vermin such as rats and squirrels, should be removed as soon as possible as they can devastate a roof.  Warm wet winters, feeding of other animals outside eg wild birds and chickens can also increase vermin problems.  Pest control techniques include bait boxes, poison.  Sonic deterrents may be an option but do ask an expert.

Birds such as jackdaws, crows and magpies can damage thatched roofs by pulling out straws.  Shooting of certain pests can only be actioned under licence.  Birds of prey are sometimes employed as deterrents, both dummy and live!

Insect pests such as wasps and flies must be dealt with appropriately – and with care.  Hornets for instance are less common, not aggressive and honey bees should be preserved if at all possible.

More information on this and other pest control ideas on our new page on the website

Or you can contact one of our specialist Pest Controllers from the Thatch Directory.

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Thatch Fires

Too many thatched fires since our last newsletter.  The Fire Services have been doing a sterling job and early notification to them has shown to make a difference on the outcome.  See above – a devastating picture.  The picture below shows how beautiful the property was before the fire.

Dry weather, dry roofs, then a cold snap when fires are lit seems to have meant a lot of thatched fires.  Several were caused by ejected embers from chimney fires, a bonfire, a birds nest catching fire, internal cause.

Even Warwick Castle did not escape..  

Earlier this month a poor Thatcher told us of his horror at finding that sparks from a flaming cannon ball fired from a wood trebuchet caused the medieval boathouse (he had nearly finished re-thatching) to be destroyed!  What can we say….

Sad times but well done to the Fire Service for keeping everyone safe and being there for advice.

Please, use common sense.  Sweep chimneys regularly.
Burn seasoned wood and be vigilant if your fires are lit.

Take note of sensible fire safety advice to reduce the fire risk, fitalarms and test them regularly.

Our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet is available as a free download from our

The Burgoynes report on the main causes of over 100 recent thatched fires is worth a read. The majority is ejected embers from chimney so please take care everyone.

We have, unfortunately, more info on recent thatched fires on our Facebook Page.

Please help promote our thatch fire safety message, if we work together sharing up to date information we can make a difference.  See the Thatch Directory for services to help.

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Question Time

Have you joined our Facebook Family?

Social Media is a way to reach an audience in a different way than a website or Newsletter.  We use our Facebook page to give our followers more regular updates on things in the world of Thatch.

From our own  “Thatch Thursday” information, interesting thatched buildings and businesses, projects, pictures and an opportunity for you to make comment, engage and tell us about your thatch.

Like us on Facebook to get more information, such as reminders on checking your alarms, great looking and interesting thatched buildings and followers’ posts.

Click here, like our page and join us.  Don’t worry if you don’t have social media, we have our newsletter for the important bits.

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Reed Production Update

Response from the National Society

We wrote again and the Society responded to let us know that the article is now out of date (it has been up on our site for 6 months)  so we have been asked to remove it.  We understand that the scheme is in trial, and will be a long term project, and have therefore asked that they take the questions raised by our subscribers into account.  We look forward to hearing more from them on this interesting topic as they are sure they will be able to give us an update later in the year.

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Social Media

Join Us:


Also The Thatch Advice Centre

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The Last Thatched Windmill


Our thanks go to Alison Morris for sending us this picture of Stembridge Tower Mill the last Thatched Windmill in UK.

The weekend of 9th May was SPAB National Mills weekend and it is great that one of them is thatched.

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Are you a Landlord?

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. The measure is expected to take effect from October 2015.

This makes sense even if you are not a landlord!!

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Changes at English Heritage

englishher historic

Just to let everyone know about the changes at English Heritage.

English Heritage has now separated into two organisations.

Historic England, will be the new name for the public body that champions and protects England’s historic environment, everything from prehistoric remains to post-war office buildings, and

The English Heritage Trust, a new independent charity, retaining the name English Heritage, will look after – on behalf of the nation – the National Heritage Collection, consisting of more than 400 historic sites across England.

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Thatch Directory Categories

Thatch Directory Categories – Phase I

Our site has one clear list of categories so it is easy to find help.  We are looking for proven services to join us.  References are required.

·  Architects
·  Builders
·  Building Surveyors
·  Chimney & Flue Specialists
·  Chimney Sweeps
·  Electrical Engineers
·  Fire Safety Products & Supplies
·  Garden Buildings
·  Health and Safety
·  Insurance
·  Leadworkers
·  Master Thatchers
·  Organisations/Publications
·  Preservation & Pest Control
·  Quantity Surveyors
·  Reed & Straw Dealers
·  Scaffolding
·  Security
·  Solicitors
·  Solid Fuel & Heating Supplies
·  Specialist Builders
·  Specialist Building Materials
·  Structural Surveyors
·  Thatched Hospitality
·  Thatching Supplies
·  Timber Framed Builders
·  Tools & Equipment Hire
·  Tree Surgeons

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Next Time

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The Next Newsletter

Update on the Thatch Directory
Listed Thatch – Cautionary tale
Planning Point
Question Time
Sweeping your Chimneys
New at the Thatch Advice Centre
Thatch Thursdays

Any Subscriber suggestions…

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