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Around these parts bird fanciers know a lot about the Yaffle. It’s the local name for the native green woodpecker, the rarely seen, but widespread, ant devouring bird.  Older Castle Rock customers may also know Professor Yaffle, the wise and sometimes pompous, avian character in the 1970s tv series, Bagpuss.

How ever he came to pick it, Yaffle was selected by Arnold resident, Richard Heath, as the name for Castle Rock’s first Natural Selection beer for 2011.

Richard Heath and Castle Rock’s head brewer, Adrian Redgrove watch as the Yaffle brew begins.

Richard entered and won the joint Notts Wildlife and Castle Rock Brewery competition to name the first of monthly beers to be brewed in the year to raise funds for wildlife preservation.  His was one of over 100 suggestions made at the CAMRA Robin Hood Beer Festival on the Castle Green in October.

Richard’s prize was a December day at the brewery where he joined head brewer, Adrian Redgrove, to help create his Yaffle ale. And come early January, he was back to taste the success of his enterprise.

And a few days later Richard pulls the first pint at the brewery tap, the Vat and Fiddle, watched by bar supervisor, Ed Sullivan.

Richard’s favourite tipple is Screech Owl, the Castle Rock regular that also began life as a ‘one off’ in support of local wildlife.  He now adds his own beer ‘Yaffle’ to his top choices.

See elsewhere on this site for the full tantalising list of wildlife beers for 2011.