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Food Heroes

Thirsts have been quenched from the same Mendip spring for over 2,000 years. Simon Fry’s source is reliable.

While many companies try to conjure an image by trying their inherently dull product to something infinitely funkier (the Barclaycard World Freerun Championship, anyone?), Cheddar Natural Spring Water needs no credibility by association. ‘For health, for life’is their tagline,and the view from the company’s Carscliffe Farm,some 600ft above the Somerset Levels,is as life-affirming as it gets. You can see forward for miles and backwards through millennia, across a landscape containing the sweet track, a road dating back a mind boggling 6,000 years. While Cheddar has been occupied for some 13,000 years, the farm is home to The Mendips’highest and oldest recorded spring, in existence for over 2,000 years. If the track is the world’s oldest road, with a cartload of journalistic licence the spring can be considered a very, very, very early service station.

Operations today are infinitely more modern. While history’s weary travellers doubtless filled animal bladders to make their potable, a pump ends the water to a plant where it’s bottled directly-no hanging around in tanks here-before being supplied to numerous Tesco, Asda and outlets across Bristol and beyond. The water is supplied in glass and plastic bottles. “We currently have to use PET bottles,” says director David Urch. “While they are recyclable, we’re looking at using bottles made from corn starch, although some are permeable and have GM issues.”

David and fellow directors (and family members) Tabitha and Duncan established Cheddar Water Ltd in 2005. Their product is naturally filtered through land certified by the Soil Association as organic, with the site offering a habitat to the greater horseshoe bat, one of the UK’s most endangered mammals. Natural England-part of DEFRA – has recognised the farm’s environmental stewardship, with a switch made from overseas charolais to native North Devon cattle and a reduction from 2.0 to 0.6 cows per hectare.

Convenient colour-coding sees still water in blue-capped bottles and green caps for sparkling, with still water available in sport top option if you’re rehydrating while recreating.

Venue finds a better use for a drop. In ice cube form, accompanying a slug of Glenfiddich Special Reserve.

Cheddar Gorgeous!

Cheddar Water Ltd 

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