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Long straw ... old varieties, names like Maris widgeon, Maris huntsman ,Little joss, Aquila and Squarehead ...wheat varieties that produce tall, strong-stemmed straw ideal for thatching.. Harvested in the same manner as combed wheat and run through a treshing mill to remove the grain. Although through out the midlands oat n straw has been more common and widely used for thatching in the past.
Water reed.. regarded as the most durable of all the thatching materials can last in excess of twenty five years with a small amount of maintenance .Harvested on reed beds beside rivers or lakes in late winter. It is easily recognised by its feathery head , growing on a single stem and having broad spearlike leaves.
Combed wheat..sometimes referred to as wheat reed but is infact straw. Harvested with a reaper and binder, stooked in the field ,then stacked and finally run throurgh a comber to remove the grain . Can easily be mistaken for water reed at a distance when viewed on a roof.