I have lived in rural Dorset all of my life. When I was 14 years old, my parents had their own cottage thatched by a local well-known and respected Master Thatcher.

I started helping him after school and at the weekends and at 16 he offered me a four year apprenticeship which started in 1999 having just left school after completing my GCSEs.

During my apprenticeship I attended the National training scheme at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire and achieved an NVQ Level 3. On completion of the course I was awarded The George Dray Memorial Cup for the best apprentice of the year. I am very pleased to be the 2014 winner of the Melplash Show Rural Craft Award.

I am a member of both the National Society of Master Thatchers and the Dorset Master Thatchers Association. Both of these memberships require that I show continuous commitment to producing work of the highest standard at all times.

I currently live with my wife and young son in Beaminster.

Zach Watts