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TUITION FOR BEGINNERS,
IMPROVERS, AND GROUP LEADERS
at the West Country Scythe Fair, at Monkton Wyld Court, Dorset and in Brighton.

 

Scything and Haymaking "Mini Apprenticeship"

I take on people to help with haymaking etc, from 15 May until 15 August at Monkton Wyld Court, Dorset. You get taught how to use a scythe and peen, and help with haymaking. When the weather is bad there is scything weeds and other jobs on a dairy smallholding. Food and lodging in caravan is provided, and you earn a free scythe. Minimum ten days but it could be longer. I will consider taking one person on for three months if they also wish to learn about small scale dairy management, cheese-making etc. Contact Simon 01297 561359, chapter7@tlio.org.uk

Scythe Courses in Dorset 2014

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

9-11 May 2014
18-20 July 2014
5-7 September 2014

For more information about the content of the courses, scroll down
To book please go to
http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/

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.

Scythe Courses at the West Country Scythe Fair 2014

Masterclass — the definitive course for
• mowers with some experience who want to perfect their skills;
• team leaders managing volunteers or staff;
• people who want to teach scythe use to others.

Tutors: Christiane Lechner (from Austria) Steve Tomlin, Phil Batten and Simon Fairlie
12-14 June, at Muchelney, Langport Somerset

Thursday: Introduction , historical overview, setting up the snath and blade, sharpening and maintenance, basic mowing, health and safety.
Friday: better mowing stance; advanced peening; organizing events, insurance, risk assessments, teaching skills, managing volunteers etc
Saturday Morning: Teaching novices (real life practice); Afternoon: workshops on peening, grassland management, haymaking, English scythes etc.
Sunday: Scythe Fair and Competition

The teachers are Christiane Lechner, scythe and yoga teacher from Austria; Phil Batten master peener from Scythe Cymru, http://scythecymru.co.uk/ and Steve Tomlin from Scytherspace http://stevetomlincrafts.wordpress.com/scythes/

The venue is at Thorney Lakes. Muchelney, near Langport http://www.thorneylakes.co.uk/

The cost is £165 for individuals, £190 for organizations. Food is provided — a served meal at lunch time, and help-yourself for breakfast and evening meal. Camping on site is available but payable to Richard England, the owner of Thorney Lakes, http://www.thorneylakes.co.uk/Pages/4/Campsite.html

For more information please email Simon at chapter7@tlio.org.uk

One Day Courses at the Scythe Fair|
for Beginners and for Improvers

14 June, at Muchelney, Langport Somerset

Supervised by Simon Fairlie, Christiane Lechner, Steve Tomlin and Phil Batten

Scythe use, set up, sharpening and maintenance in the morning.
A choice of workshops, including peening, grassland management, haymaking in the afternoon.
Trainees are divided into ntwo groups, beginners and improvers,

Entry to Scythe Fair on Sunday is included in the price of £55

Camping on site is available at http://www.thorneylakes.co.uk/Pages/4/Campsite.html

For more information please email Simon at chapter7@tlio.org.uk

Two Day Scythe Courses in Brighton 2014
16-17 August

Tutors: Simon Fairlie, Stefan Gehrels & Beth Tilston

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

Here are more details about Simon's courses:

Two Day Course: Scything and Haymaking

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 more time 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:
• brief history and sociology of the scythe
Saturday:
• 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.
Sunday

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

Beginners may opt to come only on Friday evening and Saturday. Improvers who have done a beginner's course with me or someone else can opt to come only on the Sunday.

Ring 01297 561359 or e-mail chapter7@tlio.org.uk for more details; or see Monkton Wyld's site http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/

Beginners' One Day Courses

To book please go to http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/.

These are day-long training courses for beginners. Currently they comprise the first day of my two day courses

The courses cover:
• 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;
• peening with a jig, and introduction to freehand peening with hammer and anvil;
• sharpening;
• mowing technique;
• how to avoid damaging the blade, and how to repair chips and cracks;

If you live some way away, there are other teachers around the country; see http://scytheassociation.org/courses/

Ring 01297 561359 or e-mail chapter7@tlio.org.uk for more details.

 

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 chapter7@tlio.org.uk, entitling your e-mail "Scythe Mailing List".

 

Below are photos of some of my courses. In the first one you can see Andy Coleman (in red pullover), now a faster scythesman than I, learning to peen.

 

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