Branding imagery: field of green grass

29th Jul 2009

West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers’ plea to the public as cheese is lost in space

At 04.30hrs on Tuesday 28th July in a field near Pewsey in Wiltshire, members of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group successfully launched a large weather balloon as it gracefully floated towards the upper atmosphere of the earth, marking the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon and the first space flight undertaken by a piece of cheese.

In peak condition after 18 months of preparation, a 300g wedge of authentic handmade West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, attached to a specially designed capsule built by the dairy farmers behind barn doors, ascended to 100,000 feet…they think.

The capsule carried digital camera equipment and a GPS satellite tracking device, but the latter failed to send any signals back to earth. Organisers believe the cheese to have landed somewhere between Wiltshire and Cambridgeshire based on the day’s meteorological forecasts, but have declared it lost in space until found.

The balloon was set to burst at the edge of space for the capsule and its flavoursome cargo to fall back to terra firma with the aid of a custom-made parachute. It is not known if the extra mature Cheddar succeeded in its mission until a member of the public finds the capsule to confirm that the cheese did indeed reach the outer limits of culinary experience.

Philip Crawford, chairman of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group, said: “We are very proud of our authentic Cheddar which we make by hand on our farms and we set ourselves the very highest standards. It seemed appropriate, therefore, that we should mark the anniversary of the first moon landing with a giant leap for cheesekind. We will not rest however until we know if the cheese did indeed make it where no cheese has been before, so would ask the public to help us with the safe return of our Cheddarnaut and contact us through our website if they find it.”

In 2007 the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers turned a traditional round of Cheddar into an internet sensation by attracting 1.8 million visitors to www.cheddarvision.tv to watch the cheese mature live on the web over the course of 12 months. In 2008 it uncovered the formula for the perfect cheese sandwich in partnership with Bristol University and launched www.cheddarometer.com.