Practical Scything and Meadow Management Course
Date: Saturday 27th June 2020
Who is the course for:
The course is open to those who wish to get a feel for scything and see if it is for them, through to those who wish to acquire the basic skill of scything for the management of their own grassland or reserve. Please note the terrain on North Meadow can be uneven and slippery when wet.
Course content outline:
This is a ‘hands-on’ event where participants will learn basic practical mowing and blade sharpening skills needed to use a scythe effectively and safely.
We will also focus on how scythe use promotes flexible and practical grassland management strategies which are essential for maximising the wildlife potential of meadows and grassland.
We hope to demonstrate how effectively this can empower and engage individuals and community groups in getting the best from their own sites.
The course emphasis will adapt to the needs of the attendees.
You can purchase a scythe in advance through the Emorsgate Seeds website and opt to collect on the day when a £10 discount for p&p will apply.
A limited number of scythes will be available to borrow if you do not have your own or wish to purchase one. Please check availability when booking.
Your Tutor: Richard Brown
Richard is a trained botanist, ecologist and seedsman. For the last 35 years he has been pursuing his particular passion for grassland and meadows by promoting and developing the use of wild flower and grass seeds in habitat creation schemes with the wild flower seed company Emorsgate Seeds.
Over the decades many thousands of new meadows have been created ranging from mini-meadows in gardens to major landscaping projects and farm stewardship schemes. By 2007 it became clear to Richard that many of the smaller schemes were failing to develop their full potential, and that one of the principal reasons for this was the practical difficulties associated with mowing and making hay on this scale. In searching for a practical answer to this Richard discovered the wonders of the Austrian scythe. Scything quickly became a passion for him, which apart from promoting its use in Britain, has taken him mowing flower rich meadows in Transylvania, Estonia and Czechia.
Richard is a founding member and Chair of the Scything Association of Britain and Ireland. He regularly teaches scything and grassland management in the summer to individuals and community groups.
Location: North Meadow NNR, Cricklade. The whole course will be conducted outside on the meadow with limited shelter.
Timing: 10am to 4pm (9am collect scythes and tea/coffee)
What to Bring
- Notebook and pencil
- Water bottle and/or thermos flask
- Small rucksack or bag
- Waterproofs (just in case!)
- Stout shoes, boots
- Hat and sunscreen
- Insect repellent
There will be a person with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have special medical or access requirements.