Cutting Norfolk Reed with a Scythe

Winter is somewhat of a quiet season for the scythe but for a number of years now Richard Brown, member of the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland (SABI), has been giving fellow members an opportunity to get in a bit of winter mowing by cutting reed on the wildlife reserve he manages in Norfolk.

Phil went up and helped last year, when the cutting took place alongside the SABI winter gathering. The reed cuts well with a scythe, although it is harder physical work then cutting greener vegetation. The addition of a simple willow “bow” to the scythe helps guide the tall reed as it falls and keeps it clear of the blade once cut.

Below is a video made by Richard which shows the scythe at work in the reed and explains the function of and fitting of a simple bow. Reports of previous SABI reed cutting gatherings can be read on the SABI website