Free

Practical scything for managing wildflower grasslands

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Wadhurst Estate

TN5 6NT

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This one day practical course run by Chris Riley introduces the participant to the basic techniques of using a scythe safely and efficiently to help manage small areas of wildflower grassland. The course covers how to set your scythe up to suit your personal requirements and also how to sharpen the blade of your scythe.

The course will also cover the basic principles of creating small wildflower grasslands including species selection, seed collecting, producing plant plugs, site preparation, control of weed species, and on-going management requirements.

Chris Riley has a wide-ranging expertise in the use of the scythe, and has won awards for quality mowing in competitions. He is committed to the promotion of the scythe, as a prime example of a low tech, low carbon alternative.

Agenda:

9.30am: Arrivals, registration and coffee

10:00-12.30:

The course is based around lightweight Austrian scythes. Instruction is provided on the three interacting factors that make for successful mowing:

  • how to set up the grips correctly for the user’s proportions
  • how to keep the edge sharp
  • how to mow with a movement that is efficient for the body and effective in cutting the vegetation

12.30-13.15 Lunch

1.30-4pm: Other areas that will be covered include:

  • history of the scythe
  • comparison of English and continental scythes
  • description & parts of a scythe
  • principles of movement
  • how to effectively hone the edge with a whetstone
  • adjustment of blade angles, according to mowing circumstances
  • different blades for different purposes
  • demonstration of peening
  • maintenance and repair of blades

15.30 Depart


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Wadhurst Estate

TN5 6NT

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