NOTE – We are not currently travelling to teach.
If you have a group looking for tuition you may be able to organise a private course based here at our farm, or we may be able to put you in touch with another trainer. Please get in touch for details.
Are you a member of a group managing land, based with Wales and the borders?
We may be able to run a scythe course at your venue. Details are below.
Why scythes are great for groups
They are Quiet
It is much more enjoyable for a group of volunteers to work with scythes then strimmers. Conversation is still possible! There is also less disturbance to wildlife and other users of the space
They are Mobile.
Scythes can easily be taken to harder to access corners of a site, or be used to manage areas that are unsuitable for machines eg slopes
They are Effective.
A well maintained scythe can tackle a wide range of vegetation, from grass to bracken and young brambles.
They are Green.
No internal combustion engines, fully maintainable parts
The Introductory Scythe Course is an ideal way to introduce the scythe to your project, or to improve your technique if your group already use them.
The course is very hands-on and we aim to give you plenty of chance to practice.
Generally, the day starts with looking at how to set up a scythe so that it will work well for you. Then it is out to the field to have a go at mowing.
After lunch there is usually time for a bit more mowing, and we cover the all important job of keeping your blade sharp and cutting well, including the art of peening. Course content can be tailored to meet the needs of your group.
While the main focus is the scythe, there is plenty of time to talk about related subjects such as conservation, grassland management, ecology and hand hay making. Exactly what comes up depends on the interests of the participants.
What we provide
Workshops usually run from 10am until about 4pm.
We provide tuition for the day and all equipment needed (one full scythe per person, equipment for practicing peening).
We can offer participants the option to purchase a scythe and related equipment at the end of the day, including a blade that has been peened and is ready to mow.
Or we can run the course in conjunction with purchase of scythes for your project, in which case the groups scythes will be set up as part of the workshop
What the venue needs to provide
An area of medium to long grass. Ideally, the grass needs to have been mown or grazed within the last 6 months. If the grass has not been managed for a long time the vegetation tends to grow up, collapse then grow up again. This creates a tangled thatch at the bottom of the sward. While it is perfectly possible to mow this with a scythe it is not ideal when trying to learn scything technique. If you are not sure about the mowing you have available please get in touch and we will see what is possible. A group of 6- 8 people can mow up to about 1/4 acre during a workshop, depending on the conditions.
An area of short grass. This is where the workshop will gather, set up the scythes and begin to practice the mowing action. Practicing in short grass makes it easier for the user to understand the mowing action as they can clearly see what the blade is doing, making them more successful when they move onto tackling longer vegetation.
Undercover area for breaks and for the peening section of the workshop. This can be just a simple shelter from rain / blazing sun
Booking a workshop
If you are interested in a workshop at your venue, please contact us to discuss your requirements and cost.
Please note, we are very busy in the main scything season (March – Sept). The limited dates we have available to teach outside course soon book up. Please contact us as early as possible to book your workshop to avoid disappointment.