About Us

Scythe Cymru is run by Phil Batten and Michelle Lainé

Our scything journey began in 2005.

Penniless but keen, we got a place on a Scythe Course being run by Simon Fairlie in exchange for helping out with the UK’s first Scythe Festival the next day.

The course was taught by Peter Vido, a Slovakian by birth who emigrated to Canada where he made extensive use of the Austrian style scythe on his farm. He wanted to create a “Scythe Renaissance”, so took his skills and enthusiasm around the Scythe Festivals of Europe, in an attempt to make the scythe a common place tool once again.

After an inspirational weekend we went home with a scythe blade from a second-hand tool stall, the knowledge of how to get it back it to working order and make a handle (snath) for it and a lot of enthusiasm.

Mowing on

In 2006 we moved to a 20 acre small holding owned by Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust.

We now manage about 27 acres of permanent pastures, traditional hay meadows and gardens with a mix of livestock and hand tools.

Here, the scythe is truly part of our everyday lives.

During the growing season it does sterling work in the garden, keeping the grass paths short and providing mulch for the garden. We make hay by hand, mowing about 6 acres of conservation hay meadow every year.

The Scythe Renaissance

Sadly, Peter Vido died in 2018, but the scythe renaissance goes from strength to strength.

Scythe Cymru arose in 2007, when we started teaching. We are now joined by many skilled tutors who teach scythe courses across the UK.

The West Country Scythe festival is an annual event, where scythe enthusiasts and beginners from across the UK gather to share information and, of course, compete in the West of England Scythe Competition.

The Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland was founded in 2012 and does much to promote the scythe in the UK, as well as providing support, information and companionship for a diverse community of scythe enthusiasts

Why do we love the scythe?

The Austrian style scythe is light and easy to use (once you know how to keep it sharp). It is quiet, requires no petrochemicals to run and it is fun to use.

The experience of hearing and feeling your blade cut through a hay meadow just after dawn on what promises to be a hot summers day, with nothing but the birds and flowers for company, is hard to beat.

It is a versatile tool, ideal for the small holder, capable of trimming close around trees in your orchard, clearing scrub, cutting the lawn and cutting hay on that field that is too small/steep…