Thatched houses in England
Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes and heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation. In 21st century England, all this still exists, but they are expensive to maintain and since modern materials are cheaper and easier, thatches have been slowly disappearing over the last century. The thatch comes from natural, sustainable materials – the most common type in the UK and Ireland is wheat straw, while some parts of the country use water reed. If you stay in a thatched cottage, your tourist dollars are automatically helping preserve the tradition.