Newsletter | July 2016

Thatch Advice Centre Newsletter

Welcome to our Summer (apparently) Newsletter.

An extremely busy last few months, helping people, website updates (see details below) as well as visiting thatch properties and meeting and extending our circle of ‘thatch’ enthusiasts. We are very pleased with the content of this newsletter with plenty of information for everyone.

It is so great that so many of you keep in touch via email and social media, we love hearing from you whether queries or new ideas! Don’t forget to get your ‘thatch’ friends to join us too, just sign up from the website.


In this Newsletter:

Click on the title to show the details.

What we have been doing?

Getting out of the office, with a trip to the Netherlands and Ireland.  We saw some interesting thatched properties and enjoyed the change of scenery and discussions on thatch and thatching – Hope you like the lovely picture from the Netherlands (See below).

In the office we have been organising inspections, putting people in touch with surveyors, chimney specialists and thatchers as well as responding to hundreds of emails since the last newsletter.  We thought this was going to be the quiet time!

Planning for next years’ Ecobuild, more information and associate exhibitors are anticipated for the Natural Building area.

Social Media engagement and friends and follower numbers increasing has been a great way to keep in touch more regularly.  Best to email us for important issues because we do not spend our life on SM!.  We do love to hear from you all, so please like, share and RT our posts and tweets.

Longevity – We are glad that new thatch related websites being written are following our lead and promoting that it is not just the materials which affect roof lifespan.  We put a lot of effort into our pages, articles and posts.  Apparently, imitation is a form of flattery too!  So please imitate our Fire Safety messages and join us and share on social media #workingtogether!


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The TAC Website Updates

Articles added were:
Bat awareness
Thatch and How to help the Fire Service
Help with Selling your Thatched Property
I-Build Magazine article

New pages on the website:-

Ways to help the Fire Service
Selling Thatched Properties

Plenty of  Thatch Thursdays covering information such as fixings, design, tools and interesting thatch.

More pictures of tools and equipment have been added.


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Social Media - Facebook and Twitter

Keeping our Facebook friends and Twitter followers in touch with the day to day #thatch information and any news.  From great pictures, thatched buildings and interesting things about #thatching as well as our #ThatchThursday and #TestitTuesday for  those regular reminders with our associates and friends.

Join us for a variety of ‘thatch’ related posts   Don’t forget to like and share.

Increasing numbers of Twitter followers means we are also improving our Tweets and engagement.  Follow us, tweet and retweet.

No worries if you are not on Social Media – we have our lovely Newsletter too.


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Help with Chimneys


We always get queries about chimneys:- height, fires, wood- burners, building regulations and insurance etc. Who can help you with some of these things?

Thatchers – if they are working on your roof, get them to look at the flashings as well as the integrity and pointing of the chimney where the thatch is being removed. Also they can measure the height of the chimney above the thatch.

Chimney sweeps and engineers – Keep those chimneys clean and check their integrity and any installations.

Listed Building specialists – conservation officers to consultants, they can give advice on maintenance, materials, consents which may be required and options.

Insurers – They often ask excellent questions which are beneficial to the integrity and safety of chimneys and installations. Sometimes cover varies so asking around is recommended.

Councils – for building regulations, chimney height, listed building consents and planning issues.

Working together to get the best solutions for chimneys in thatched properties is the sensible option as some situations don’t always have a straight forward solution. Understanding the relevant information should allow you to make the best decisions. We are hoping that planned meetings with relevant parties will enable us to update you with more useful information on this topic, hopefully before the next burning season. We have even been invited to exhibit and hold a seminar at an event next year and are hoping to fit it into our busy schedule.

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Competition Time


Winner Winner Chocolate Dinner!!

Congratulations to Martin Green – winner of our cute cottage competition (picture below).  He will be receiving our tin of special hand-made chocolate from Chocolate Craft.

Please send in your pictures on ‘New Thatch’, for our next winning chocolate competition. From complete newly thatched properties, to extensions or a brand new construction in your garden.  Send in your entries with name and postal address .  Great way to showcase a building project, thatching work, your lovely home, or a friends!

Next categories:-

2  New thatched building
3  Listed Thatch
4  Pub, Hotel,  B&B or business
5  Thatching in progress
6  Interesting and unusual thatch

The winner of each category will get a fabulous bespoke, and made especially for our competition,  chocolate prize fromChocolate Craft.

Their chocolates are hand made, supplied to customers such as Fortnum and Masons and are absolutely delicious.

To enter you will need to supply your own photograph(s) of the thatch along with the category and any details you want to provide, eg where it is.  You can enter as many pictures as you like.   Don’t forget to include it along with your name, full address and postcode.  Email entries .

In entering this competition, you agree for any picture supplied to be used by the Thatch Advice Centre.  Any pictures selected will be credited to yourself, so for example thatchers, builders or architects may well get the benefit of their work appearing on the websites, newsletters or social media.

Second Category New Thatched Building, deadline for entries is noon on Monday 10th October 2016.

Entries for other categories can be received at any time and their cut off dates will be in future newsletters, and social media.

Good luck and happy snapping.

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Selling Thatched Properties


Lots of enquiries from people buying and selling thatch.  From roof inspections to insurance, fire safety or information on maintenance and Listed Thatch we are happy to help.  We have written a page and a useful article on selling thatch to improve this service.    There are things which can be done to make the process easier for all concerned and, based on our experience, we have shared some of that relevant information to help the vendors (and the purchasers).  As ever, we are happy to help anyone with any questions they may have, if we don’t know the answer we usually know someone who does.

Help with Selling Thatch, is hoped to also have benefit to the estate agents, surveyors, thatchers, insurers and many other associated trades who get involved in the conveyancing process.  If you have unanswered questions please get in touch (and we may have to update the website!).


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Thatch Tale



Wet warm winters have increased the incidents of roofs sprouting.  Our tale this time, is another cautionary one.

We agree with the Society advice “It is illegal to use any commercial chemicals for applications not specified in their license”, following information recently received from a concerned property owner.

Surely, an advisory service should not be recommending use of a chemical on a sprouting roof without knowledge of the regulations on the use of those chemicals.

That’s why we liaise with specialists.  Please check before application of any product to your thatch.


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Jackdaw Attack


As promised, our subscribers who don’t have social media won’t miss out too much on what is going on.

We recently reported on the lovely National Trust Barn at Avebury. Beautifully rethatched and then damaged by attack from Jackdaws. Many different strategies have been employed in attempts to deter then with current progress being made with pinning the wire above the thatch. Thanks to those who saw our post on social media and offered their ideas too.

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Update From Newsletters

We have had a spate of enquiries with problems regarding thatch longevity and, unfortunately, the majority of them can be attributed to workmanship.

A good thatcher will be happy to share with you satisfied clients from several years previously whose roof has stood the test of time.  Some thatchers have more experience in one thatching material than others.  Always get more than one quotation for works and check references.  There are excellent thatchers out there both independent and members of groups but there is no overall governing body.  A good website does not guarantee a good thatcher.  Do your homework and make an informed decision on your choice of thatcher.

The materials wanted section generated interesting discussion on thatching materials.  We may well explore this and add information to the website.

Planning of new pages – Wow!! Even more ideas, thanks to everyone who has triggered even more plans!.  We will be asking more specialists for their input too, it’s just a matter of time.

Our relationship with the Fire Services continues to grow and we are proud to be promoting Thatch Fire Safety across a wide range of media and updating everyone on ways to reduce the risks (and often insurance premiums) so that everyone can enjoy their thatch.  We are enthusiastic about good progress in this area.  #TestitTuesday reminder help from our gnomes!


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Famous Thatch

Marie Stopes Cottage – Portland Museum

thatch-advice-centre-portland-museumWe have promoted the Portland Museum cottage which was lived in by Marie Stopes. They are fund raising for the re-thatch target of £15,000.  At the time of writing they have reached  £8,000.  More info on how to contribute here.


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Social Media Mates

I-Build Magazine

I build picture

We were pleased to be asked to share our expertise and write a feature for the I-build Magazine on Thatch Fire Safety and also some of our Thatch Associates submitted articles too!!

Have a look and see.

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Next Time

Square Logo
The Next Newsletter

The question of insurance
Updates from earlier newsletters
Thatch Tale
Councils and Planning queries
Historic England information
Competition winner (2)
Famous Thatch

and  more…..

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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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