A Somerset cheese maker has built the UK's first fully solar powered cheese storage space.

Wyke Farms' new cheese storage has a 65kw solar array on the roof to keep the temperature at 12 degrees and be highly energy efficient.

Rich Clothier, managing director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, said: "My grandmother's stone maturing barn on the farm stayed at a steady 12 degrees with some small seasonal variations. In our new stores we have replicated that closely in order to keep the recipe as close to hers as possible."

There is space for 1,762 pallets of cheese, amounting to approximately 2000 tonnes of additional storage capacity that is required to meet the demands of growing export sales in vintage flavour profiles.

The new store is 2,500 times the size of Ivy Clothier's original cheese store on the farm in Wyke Champflower.

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Rich said: "This is our fifth business solar array set and moves us closer to fulfilling our commitment to position solar on all of our south facing roofs where we use daytime power.

"Reducing carbon is essential for all businesses and this is an easy, cost effective way to do just that."

"The principles of sustainability are at the heart of all of our business decisions as we can see from the continual development of our green portfolio over the last 10 years."

Cheddar is a natural food produced from grass; using the power of nature to age it in a way that has a positive impact on the environment is intuitively the best way to do it.

Wyke Farms' continual investment and commitment to green energy forms part of the company's ‘100% Green' sustainability plan, through which, they have dramatically reduced their carbon footprint and become the first national cheddar brand to be 100 per cent self-sufficient using their own energy generated from solar and biogas.

This latest development is all part of the company's journey to become a net positive cheese business.

Wyke Farms' cheese and butter is made with the milk from their cows grazing the pastures of the Mendip Hills in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset.