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at the West Country Scythe Fair,
and scroll down for courses at Monkton Wyld Court, Dorset, and in Brighton.


Why Struggle?
Learn how to get your blades sharper and to scythe expertly
at the
at the
West Country Scythe Fair

Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June
• mowers with some experience who want to develop their skills;
• team leaders managing volunteers or staff;
• people who want to teach scythe use to others.

Over two days, you will get personal attention from three of the most experienced teachers in the UK:
Christiane Laganda, scythe and yoga teacher from Austria;
Phil Batten master peener and scythe competition winner from Scythe Cymru;
and Steve Tomlin author of the definitive scythe manual Learn to Scythe.

The course covers: correct set up of the tool; your mowing stance and style; sharpening, peening and repairing blades; teaching and organizing volunteers and novices; optional workshops on the English scythe, grassland management, and haymaking by hand.

The venue is at Thorney Lakes. Muchelney, near Langport http://www.thorneylakes.co.uk/
The cost is £125 for individuals, £150 for organizations, £80 concession for unwaged. Meals are provided. Camping on site is available. Includes live Gypsy Jazz from the Gaulois Brothers on Saturday evening.

Nicole Clough of Bucks Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust who did this course two years ago writes:
I came away with a far deeper understanding of the scythe and my technique, as well as the tools and course structure to teach others in a safe and efficient manner. It has revolutionised our team at BBOWT, and we now use scythes for a great many of our tasks. As a result our management is more wildlife sensitive and volunteer friendly. A number of my colleagues have now also done the course, with more booked on in the future. This has enabled us to train in the region of 50 staff and volunteers across our three counties in just 2 years. Great for wildlife, great for people.

To book, email Simon at scythes@myphone.coop tel 01297 561359

at the
West Country Scythe Fair

Saturday 11 June

TUTORS: Kevin Austin and Chris Riley

An unrivalled opportunity for people to learn the rudiments of scything. In the morning you will be taught how to set up, sharpen and maintain the tool, and correct mowing techniques. Peening instruction carries on throughout the afternoon with several teachers available, plus optional workshops on the English scythe (Mark Allery) , grassland management (Richard Brown), and haymaking by hand (Simon Fairlie).

The venue is at Thorney Lakes. Muchelney, near Langport http://www.thorneylakes.co.uk/
The cost is £60 for individuals, including lunch. If you book places for two people on the course that will be £100. Camping on site is available. The price also includes live Gypsy Jazz from the Gaulois Brothers on Saturday evening.

To book, email Simon at scythes@myphone.coop ; tel 01297 561359

Two-day Scythe Courses in Dorset

Including a session on grassland management and haymaking

At Monkton Wyld Court, near Lyme Regis, Dorset. Next course 20-22 May.

I run scythe courses at Monkton Wyld Court, on the Dorset/Devon border, four miles from Axminster, half a mile from the A35.

Residential Courses for 2016
Fri evening to Sunday :
July 15-17
For more information about the content of the courses, scroll down
To book please go to

On two day courses there is an option of attending on only Friday evening and Saturday if you are a beginner, and
only on Sunday if you are an improver who has already done a beginner's course. Friday evening attendance is advised but not essential.

Beginners often imagine that a two day course is a bit excessive, just to learn how to use a garden tool; and that is true if all you want to do is knock down weeds. But anyone who wants to mow grass on any scale will benefit from a two day course, and people who do the course come away saying "I don't know how you could cram all that into one day". Two days gives you enough time to practice different peening methods; I also spend a couple of hours on grass management, and demonstrate how to make and stack a hay rack, which enables you to make hay even in changeable weather.

Friday Evening:
• welcome and brief history and sociology of the scythe
• selecting the right blade and snath for the job (or making best use of what you've got):
• setting up a scythe and snath;
• health and safety

• sharpening;
• basic mowing technique;
• how to avoid damaging the blade, and how to repair chips and cracks;
• basic peening demonstration.

• early morning mowing
• managing grass with scything in mind;
• smallscale haymaking techniques
• peening practice with jig and bar peen anvil

To book or for more information ring e-mail scythes@myphone.coop or ring 01297 561359.

For information about Monkton Wyld Court http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/


I also take vounteers during the haymaking season. Late May until early August for a period of about ten days. No previous scything experience necessary, you will be given instruction — but you need to be competent with hand tools, fit, dynamic and willing to work unusual hours. You will be fed, lodged and given a complete scythe set. For more information please email me giving previous work experience at scythes@myphone.coop

Two Day Scythe Courses in Brighton
Next course 20-21 August 2016 (date to be arranged)

Tutors: Simon Fairlie and Stefan Gehrels

Day 1: 10am - 5pm
Day 2: 9.30am - 3.30pm (with an optional 7am start)
Cost: £80-£200 approx (depending on income)
Venue: Stanmer Park, Brighton BN1 9PZ
Full details and booking information on this website: http://www.brightonpermaculture.org.uk/


Other Courses

There are several other scythe teachers based all around the country. You can find out their details at http://scytheassociation.org/courses/

E-Mail List

I send out The Scythe Association's newsletter, The Windrow, which lists scything events, courses and developments in the UK. It comes out about three times per year, and there are now about ten people throughout the country offering scythe courses. To get on the list to receive an emailed pdf of The Windrow, please e-mail scythes@myphone.coop, entitling your e-mail "Scythe Mailing List".





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