Q : How do you get into working as a Thatcher?
A : There are no courses available for thatching.
The accepted route into the trade is via an apprenticeship with a master man. Your first port of call would be to contact local thatchers, in order to see whether any vacancy might exist.
Offering one's services, free of charge, for a few days, would give an idea of what the work entailed & whether it was as anticipated.
Q : The North facing aspect of my thatched roof has a significant amount of moss on it, which has sprung into life again with the recent rain. Can you advise me on the best/easiest way to get rid of it?
A : Moss has become much more prevalent in the last few years. We are thinking that this is due to the atmosphere being cleaner - less Sulphates coming down with the rain. To my knowledge, there is no fungicide. Some thatchers will use a copper strip, or wire, on the ridge, which acts as a deterrent.
The only real solution is to physically remove it, this of course will also remove a certain amount of thatch, i.e. lifespan. However, the pores will remain & within a few years, it will have returned.
I would recommend that you contact a local member, click on the link that says 'members' - who will then be able to come out & advise. It is essential that the material is allowed to dry out. Have nearby trees been allowed to grow up, in the vicinity ?
Q : Can you recommend a thatcher in xxxxx (fill in your County)
A : For regional contacts see www.ncmta.co.uk or contact the Conservation Officer at your Local District Council.
Q : Does the Association offer a roof surveying service?
A : Most members would undertake this for you at no charge, should you own the property. Should you be a prospective purchaser, there might be a nominal charge.
The Assn offers a roof surveying service but this is normally only called on where there is a possible dispute, in workmanship, of one of it's members.
Q : How does one thatch?
A : Look at this - The Thatcher's Craft http://www.countryside.gov.uk/NewEnterprise/Economies/thatcherscraft.asp Everything you need to know.
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Contact the East Anglia Master Thatchers Association