The heather ridge normally consists of mown heather, in some regions, however, tangled straw, sea weed or couch grass is used. In contrast to past times, when heather from the woods and the heathland was used, today, pressed heather bales are available from Hiss.
The two ridge battens of the heather ridge abut against each other at the top of the rafters. The main roof area is thatched as usual. However, instead of the ridge layer, when crafting a heather ridge an underlay of roofing paper is applied. The rounded and stuffed covering layer is then covered with a 30 cm wide layer of heather.
The heather bales are then placed overlapping each other layer by layer and considering the prevailing weather. There are two different methods of securing the heather ridge:
Either cross rods, cleft, round or squared timbers are used, which are placed on the ridge in a distance of approximately half a metre between each other or liggers, with a length of approx. 0.3-0.6 m and a diameter of 15-20 mm. 100-200 of these ligger are needed per running meter of heather ridge.
To protect the heather ridge against birds and wind it is covered with a narrow-meshed net (chicken wire) and then fastened.
A variation of the heather ridge is the oat straw ridge. This ridge design is widely used in Denmark and in the region around Kappeln. Oat straw is known to be very robust.
The thatching of oat straw ridges is similar to the application of heather ridges with the difference that additional ridge lumbers have to be used.