OLD meets new in a housing development in north Dorset, with a local business being asked to thatch two newly built homes.

Bovis Homes has appointed Paul Swannack Master Thatchers to thatch two new-build properties at Blackmore Meadows on the edge of Stalbridge, and work is already well underway.

The development of 120 homes will showcase two thatched homes, as well as local stone.

Mr Swannack, from Gillingham, has been a master thatcher for 17 years and said: “It’s very rare to be asked to thatch a new home so it’s wonderful to see the thatch roof take on a new look.

“It’s a great craft and when I’m up on the roof, looking out at the views over the countryside, it’s pretty incredible. It’s a fantastic way of life and you feel such pride when you see a home beautifully thatched – it’s complete job satisfaction.”

Gareth Neale, construction director at Bovis Homes, commented: “This is only the second development where Bovis has used thatch to roof a property. Paul is a great craftsman and the thatched rooves not only look characterful but they’re sustainable and provide excellent insulation. His attention to detail is phenomenal and it’s brilliant to be using a traditional construction method, especially when it ensures the homes blend into their surrounding environment. I cannot wait to see the thatched homes completed.”