Combed Wheat Reed – Harvesting to supply and sell

We are also growers and suppliers of combed wheat reed, having harvested our own for 15 years, every October we drill the fields then tend to our crops until late July.

We still use old fashioned machinery and traditional methods. We cut the reed using a reaper binder which then ties the reed into sheaves. This is then placed into stooks (by hand!) After a few weeks the sheaves are dry enough to be stored in the barn ready for combing.

Reuben grows his own wheat to ensure the most highest quality Combed Wheat Reed as well as supplying other thatchers. The wheat is put through a reed comber fitted to the old threshing machine and once all the seeds are removed the stalks are placed into reed bundles.

We have owned our own comber for the last 12 years. Originally, Mr Hurford from Honiton would comb our reed however due to the distance of travelling with such a large machine he was unable to do this anymore. Therefore, we decided the time had come for us to buy our own machine and continue this traditional method. We managed to find one from a Mr M Dray from Devon. The machine took my Dad (who owns an engineering works) about 300 hours to restore to good working order (thanks Dad!).

We are now in a position to travel around Somerset combing other farmers / Thatcher’s crops. 

Restored machinery in use for harvesting of reed supplies by RJ Matravers Master Thatcher
Restored combing machinery used by RJ Matravers Master Thatcher
Reed combing being completed by RJ Matravers Master Thatcher team ready for new roofing, supplying to other thatchers or transporting across the UK

The RJ Matravers Master Thatcher team busy harvesting

Field with machinery and team in background showing harvesting of crops by RJ Matravers Master Thatcher team
Black and white image of reed harvesting taking plan with trailer full of reed being fed into machine

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Reed Sales – UK

Buying & Selling Water Reed

Based in Somerset, England, RJ Matravers Master Thatchers, also specialise in buying and selling water reed from all over the world.

We have many thatching contacts due to the nature and longevity of our business and our company is ever growing. We are always looking for a varied supply of water reed from across the globe and are able to transport throughout the UK.

Water Reed

Water Reed gives a neat finish to a roof and is always said to be the longest lasting material.  To ensure we provide the best possible finish we source this material from European countries such as Austria and Hungry.