Newsletter November 2014

Welcome Back

A great response from the last newsletter – please keep the lovely pictures coming now the weather has improved. Delay in getting this one to you was due to us being flooded but we are back in now and have a lot of exciting things planned for this year.


Win Wine – so easy what have you got to lose!!

If you have a fabulous picture of a thatched roof, whether you own it, designed it, thatched it are selling it or just like it send it to us.  Not only could it be used in a future newsletter but you could also win a bottle of wine.  Send your picture via email link or and remember to specify red, white or rose…. or favourite beer!

In this Newsletter

We will touch on Insurance, Question time, Thatch Tales and give you a hint of what’s to come in future newsletters – we have a lot planned.


Many many Thatch Advice Centre visitors are contacting us with the same questions on Insurance’.  Premiums have generally gone up and insurers are asking for more validations and checks.

Having your thatched roof inspected by a thatcher and your electrics checked are two of the more common enquiries.  Contact us if you need some help.

Be aware that if the thatcher says your ridge is worn, the underwriters may not then accept a claim for storm damage to that worn out ridge.

What other things are your insurers asking you?   Tell us so we can update the website and help others too.  Also we know of specialist insurers for thatch – depending on what you have! So get in touch and we will point you in the right direction to get the best provider.

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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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