"Beautiful location. Excellent instructors" - Alan (Burford, Oxfordshire)


Introduction to Scything **COURSE FULL**

| £99
Course Provider: Cotswolds Conservation Board
Practical course that introduces the traditional skill of using a scythe. No prior experience required.

The scythe is making a comeback! Thanks to imported lightweight Austrian scythes, and with the benefit of some basic know-how, using a scythe is a quiet, effective and fun activity.

Course Description

The scythe has been used since Roman times for cutting vegetation at ground level. A modern scythe is surprisingly effective for mowing small meadows, weeds such as nettles, grassy verges and even lawns. After this course, you should be able to tackle your own vegetation situation, but with subsequent practice there is scope for refining your skills and increasing your pleasure.

Austrian scythes used on the course are readily adjustable and very light. The same principles apply to 'traditional' English scythes, if that is your interest, and it is still good to learn with the Austrian kit.

Instruction is provided on how to set up a scythe optimally for a person’s stature, how to keep it sharp, and how to mow with an efficient movement. These are the three key factors in successful use of a scythe. Blade choice and adjustment of the implement will be discussed, and an element of grassland management can also be included in the course, depending on participants requirements. There is an emphasis on safety around the very sharp blades. The safety of the operative and of others, during use, handling and sharpening will be emphasized, and cut resistant gloves provided.

What do you need to know?

No prior knowledge is required.


Chris Riley is an experienced scythes man and scythe trainer. His background is in nature reserve management, and in the instruction of volunteer groups. He is committed to the promotion of the scythe, as a prime example of a low-tech, low carbon alternative, and is Membership Secretary of the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland.

What to bring on the day

Bring a packed lunch. No protective clothing is required. Cut resistant gloves will be provided.

The course is based around lightweight Austrian scythes. A set will provided to each participant, but if you have your own you can bring that. Chris can also supply Austrian scythes. If you have an English scythe you can bring it along as well if you like for discussion purposes.