THATCHERS CIDER CREATING A NATURE CONSERVATION AREA FOR MYRTLE FARM

THATCHERS CIDER CREATING A NATURE CONSERVATION AREA FOR MYRTLE FARM

The specially created wildlife area, which will extend to approximately an acre in size, will run alongside the popular Strawberry Line cycle and footpath in Sandford, with family-run cider maker Thatchers hoping it will make a real contribution to the local environment and the biodiversity of the area.

Emma Pyle, Thatchers Cider, helps plant wildflowers in a new conservation area being planned by the Somerset Cider Maker

Two areas of coppice woodland will border a central grassland plateau. Planting of 169 trees and hedges includes native species such as hawthorn and hazel, English oak and field maple, together with more planting of grasses and nectar-rich wildflowers. This planting will help create sheltered micro-habitats, and will aid the important retention of a dark corridor for bats and other wildlife.

A special group of ten trees along The Strawberry Line has been planted and dedicated to the Queens Green Canopy campaign, celebrating the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Eleanor Thatcher, right, and Andy Jones, Avon Wildlife Trust, plant wildflowers in a new conservation area being planned by Somerset cider maker Thatchers

With its 500 acres of Somerset apple orchard, Thatchers is already home to a diverse habitat, and at Myrtle Farm has recorded 13 species of bat, as well as birds which are on the BOCC (Birds of Conservation Concern) Red and Amber lists, including house sparrow and redwing, grey wagtail and mistle thrush. It is hoped that the new conservation area will become a familiar home to many of these species, with the trees and plants selected to create a protected and foraging-rich haven.

“It’s important to us to maintain the biodiversity of our site here at Myrtle Farm,” says Gary Delafield, Operations Director at Thatchers. “As a cider maker rooted in the rural community, we’ve always been surrounded by trees and farmland, and recognise the role that a biodiverse environment plays. Myrtle Farm is already a very vibrant place for wildlife, and with this new conservation area, we’ll be increasing its biodiversity by over 85%.”

The habitat is expected provide a picturesque and interesting stop off point along the Strawberry Line, which is designated as a public footpath running alongside Myrtle Farm.

Thatchers has been working closely with the Avon Wildlife Trust in creating the area, together with arboricultural consultancy Cambium.

Fifth generation cider maker Eleanor Thatcher has been closely involved in the planning of the conservation area.

“Myrtle Farm is where I’ve grown up, and I’ve been used to seeing animals such as deer and hare in the orchards from an early age. It’s so important for us to encourage wildlife at Myrtle Farm,” she says. “This new conservation area will bring the wildlife right into the heart of Myrtle Farm, and we can’t wait to see which visitors will be the first to arrive in the Spring.”

Thatchers and the Avon Wildlife Trust will be erecting information boards alongside the conservation area, featuring more detail about the planting and resident wildlife.

Eleanor concludes, “We are no strangers to planting trees – in fact over the last decade Thatchers has planted some 158,000 apple trees in our orchards. And in 2022 we’re continuing to donate hundreds of apple trees to organisations and charities taking part in our Community Orchard Project. Our orchards are already havens for wildlife, but this conservation area is extra special, creating a new protected habitat for birds, animals and insects here at Myrtle Farm.”

CLASSIC APPLE VARIETIES FROM THATCHERS ORCHARDS FEATURE IN A NEW CIDER

CLASSIC APPLE VARIETIES FROM THATCHERS ORCHARDS FEATURE IN A NEW CIDER

Grown in the foothills of Somerset’s picturesque Mendip Hills, the apples for Thatchers Cider’s newest blend all come from one single orchard, its Classics Orchard, and are part of research being undertaken by the cider maker to find the best way of planting orchards for the tastiest fruit.

The Classics is a full bodied, rich, golden cider at 8.4%, crafted from a blend of 26 different traditional apple varieties. The bittersweet and bittersharp apples are part of a trial being undertaken by Thatchers, that sees these heritage apple varieties grown for the first time along wires to increase the levels of sunlight received on the fruit.

Richard Johnson, Thatchers Head Cider Maker says, “Apples gathered from the Classics Orchard are a true window on the rich variety of cider’s heritage. Grown along wires to capture the sunlight, these traditional cider apples, all new to our blends, are being raised in the modern Thatchers’ hedgerow way.”

British cider maker Thatchers has pioneered the hedgerow style of planting apple trees in its orchards (as opposed to the more traditional bush orchards), where trees are supported on wires in a similar way to vines, so maximising sunlight on the fruit. Sunlight plays an important part in helping the fruit grow both in quality and quantity.

Family-owned Thatchers is committed to research and innovation, trialling lesser-known varieties for their suitability to Somerset soil and climatic conditions.  Planted in 2015, The Classics orchard is just a few miles from Myrtle Farm, overlooked by the picturesque Banwell Castle.

Since the 26 different varieties crop at different times throughout the harvest season, the apples have been picked at the right time for optimum ripeness, with the freshly pressed juice cold stored before being fermented and blended to make this unique cider.

Apples pressed into The Classics include Filbarrel, Broxwood Foxwhelp, Bloody Turk, White Jersey, Stembridge Cluster, Tom Putt and Cider Ladies Finger.

“With apples from our Classics Orchard raised within a few miles of Myrtle Farm, blended and packaged here at our mill, this is a cider that reflects the very heart of Somerset cider making,” continues Richard.

Thatchers The Classics is available from www.thatcherscider.co.uk, or from the Thatchers Cider Shop at Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset.

#THATCHERSPUBHEROES T-SHIRTS IN SUPPORT OF UK PUBS AND BARS

#THATCHERSPUBHEROES T-SHIRTS IN SUPPORT OF UK PUBS AND BARS

Limited edition T-shirts, bearing the slogan #ThatchersPubHeroes, will be given to participating pubs and bars for them to sell themselves to customers. Proceeds stay with the pub – raising over £250,000 for UK pubs and bars.

In 2020, Thatchers donated over 6,000 kegs of cider to pubs and bars up and down the country to help get them back on their feet following the first national lockdown.

The Somerset cider maker is inviting pubs and bars who wish to be involved in the initiative to sign up at www.thatcherscider.co.uk/ThatchersPubHeroes. They will then receive 20 #ThatchersPubHeroes t-shirts free of charge.

The offer is open to Thatchers draught stockists throughout the UK and Thatchers is encouraging pubs to be quick to claim theirs as there are only 20,000 t-shirts available.

Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cider maker says, “The last 12 months have been challenging for us all, but none more so than for businesses within the hospitality industry, many of whom face an uncertain future. Whilst we can’t wait for pubs and bars to be open again, we want to do what we can in the meantime to lend our support and offer much needed cash in the till.  So we’ve created a limited-edition #ThatchersPubHeroes t-shirt in support of pubs and bars across the country. Made for pubs to support pubs!”

Thatchers is offering participating pubs social media support too – the cider maker will be letting its followers know which pubs are selling the t-shirts via an online map featured on their website. Every business can download their own Social Media assets from www.thatcherscider.co.uk/ThatchersPubHeroes

 

THATCHERS SAVED 20 MILLION PLASTIC RINGS IN JUST ONE YEAR

THATCHERS SAVED 20 MILLION PLASTIC RINGS IN JUST ONE YEAR

By ditching plastic rings for its best-selling can packs for Thatchers Gold, Haze, Rosé and Cloudy Lemon ciders, family cider maker Thatchers saved 20 million plastic rings from being used in 2020 alone.

And now the Somerset cider maker is able to strengthen its commitment to the environment even further with PEFC certification for the cardboard packaging that replaces the plastic rings.

This certification means that Thatchers is able to guarantee all its consumer cardboard product packaging has been sourced sustainably.

The introduction of its ground-breaking duo-wing for its 4-can packs back in 2016 was an amazing piece of the sustainability journey for Thatchers. It now estimates over 100 tonnes of plastic has been saved during this time thanks to the initiative.

The PEFC mark also appears on Thatchers ten can packs. FSC certified board is used for mail order boxes and retail bottle display trays.

Supply Chain Director for Thatchers, Gary Delafield comments, “Working with supplier Westrock to ensure our packaging is made with PEFC certified board is an important part of our sustainability commitment. We are always looking to actively do the right thing across our cider making and packaging, and the PEFC certification assures our retail customers and consumers that our cardboard is sourced sustainably throughout the supply chain.

 

“We recognise the critical role that forests play in the protection of the global environment in alleviating climate change. Indeed, as a cider maker reliant on trees to grow the apples we need to produce our ciders, we have over 500 acres of our own orchard in Somerset.

 

“Our retail customers trust us to lead the way in sustainable packaging, and our consumers have confidence in us that care of the world around us is part of who we are. We were one of the first British cider makers to replace plastic rings with recyclable cardboard packs, and now we are able to demonstrate full confidence throughout their supply chain with PEFC certification.”

Thatchers has worked with its packaging supplier Westrock to secure the certification. PEFC is a global chain of custody certificate that tracks wood from sustainable sources, through the supply chain to final product. Over 320 million hectares of forest globally are PEFC certified.

As a family business Thatchers is constantly thinking about what it can do to protect the environment and cut carbon. New lighter weight cans save 70 tons of aluminium each year and its glass bottles contain up to 77% recycled glass. Furthermore, its new warehouse in Somerset is home to solar panels that saved some 75,000 kg of CO2 in 2020 – that’s the equivalent of planting 3,500 trees. The energy is harnessed to power heating at the cider mill.

www.thatcherscider.co.uk

Thatchers’ new TV commercial, Family, launches next week

Thatchers’ new TV commercial, Family, launches next week

A new TV campaign from Thatchers, the family cider makers, will appear on screens from Monday 17th August 2020.  Called “Family”, it reinforces the values that are the driving force behind everything that Thatchers does.

True to life, authentic, warm and aspirational, the new campaign from the Somerset cider maker will be broadcast nationally, on TV and Video on Demand.

The ad has been directed by award-winning British director Steve Reeves with production company Another Film Company. The creative agency is McCann Bristol, and media agency Bray Leino.

Bill Bailey has provided the voice over, and as in previous campaigns Martin Thatcher has a cameo role, this time joined by family members Anne and Eleanor. Cider makers Richard Johnson and Sophie Jennings also make appearances.

Martin Thatcher, four generation cidermaker says, “This is an ad that’s warm with a smile in its heart. We hope everyone will be able to relate to it. The sense of family runs very strongly throughout all we do at Thatchers, from our heritage and traditions, through to our quality and expertise in cider making. It’s something we’re all very proud of, and we know it’s something that will always stay true. There’s never been a better time to reinforce the message of family and caring for each other.”

A forty and thirty second ad will showcase the Thatchers cider portfolio of Thatchers Gold, Haze and Rosé.  A social campaign will also run.

Thatchers has been the cider category’s top off trade performer during lockdown with sales +108.7% in the last 12 weeks. *Source: IRI, vol sales 12 w/e 18th July 2020.

www.thatcherscider.co.uk