HERON Corn Mill has a new high profile patron - Ruth Goodman of Victorian Farm fame.

Ruth is a social historian working with museums, theatre, television and educational establishments. She has presented and consulted on several highly successful television series, including The Edwardian Farm, The Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Tales from the Green Valley and “The Victorian Pharmacy” (all for primetime BBC2) as well as presenting a variety of films for The One Show and Coast.

Her latest book How to be a Victorian was published in 2013.

Following the mill’s recent restoration and improved interpretation, the site has become particularly popular with people seeking to watch healthy stone-ground flour being made, to buy the spelt, wheat and rye flour that is produced, and even learn to bake bread in the new purpose-built shepherd’s hut. The improvements to the site were made possible by a grant of £939,100 from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Ruth points out that old milling techniques provide a flour that is both fuller in flavour and packed with nutrition and she's delighted to see Heron Corn Mill's enthusiastic preservation of these historical technologies.

She added: "No one truly wants to live in the past, but as Heron Corn Mill shows there are some things which are worth bringing with us into the future.

"The mill - managed by a registered charity - is self-sufficient due to a 100kW hydropower turbine installed in 2010 which provides green energy for the buildings and any surplus is sold to local industry which brings in an income. The turbine was designed to work in sync with the old sluice gate and launder which serve the supply to the original 14ft water wheel which still powers the milling machinery today.

"It's fantastic to see this fusion of the ancient and the modern in such good heart".