Austrian Scythe Guide • • • Product List • • • Price List • • • How To Order • • • Order Form

Beginners' Courses • • • Picture Gallery • • • Scything Festivals & Competitions • • • Austrian Scythes Changed my Life

Simon Fairlie
Supplier of Austrian Scythes

POSTAL ADDRESS: Simon Fairlie (Scythes), Monkton Wyld Court, Charmouth, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6DQ, UK

We are in the process of moving our farm and business premises from West Dorset to the Teign Valley in Devon; this involves many journeys to-and-fro, and I tend to be away from Wednesday to Saturday. Emails may not be answered until Mondays and Tuesdays. For matters that are pressing Wednesday to Saturday ring 0730 1952 760. Rest of the week ring 01297 561359.

E-MAIL: scythes@myphone.coop (and please cc to chapter7@tlio.org.uk

IF ANYONE KNOWS OF WORKSHOP/STORAGE TO RENT NEAR BRIDFORD EX6, PLEASE LET US KNOW

This website, built in 2006, is rather old-fashioned, but don't be fooled. My mail order business is thriving. I normally mail out goods every Wednesday and if required I can often mail out to meet an urgent demand. I take payment by bank transfer, cheque or cash.

I import Schröckenfux hand-forged scythe blades into the UK, direct from the factory in Austria where they have been made since 1540. Austrian scythe blades are recognized around the world as being of the highest quality -- which is why I import them and not cheap imitations. They are lighter, nimbler, and easier for the novice to sharpe than traditional English scythes. I also import other equipment you might need to make up a complete scythe kit: snaths (handles), sharpening stones and peening equipment, and books on scythe use and grass management.

There is a revival of scything in the UK. Scything summer growth by hand is as quick as using a strimmer, and there is no noise, vibration or pollution. Once you have learnt how to sharpen and use an Austrian scythe properly, mowing a meadow or topping weeds by hand becomes a joy, rather than a struggle.

Scything with a good tool relaxes the mind and attunes the body. As Levin says to his brother after a day's mowing, in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina : "You can't imagine what an effectual remedy it is for every sort of foolishness."

BUYING A SCYTHE

If you are interested in finding out more about these scythes, please go to Austrian Scythe Guide . If you want to find out what I have for sale please go to Product List and the Price List . You can buy a scythe by mail order, or by coming to my store in West Dorset (by appointment only) . If you want to order a scythe please go to How To Order and print out an Order Form . If you want to visit the store in West Dorset, please arrange an appointment by email (preferably) or phone. I can take bank transfers but prefer it if you bring a chequebook, or cash.

PROFESSIONAL LAND MANAGERS

If you require scythes and equipment for a team of workers or volunteers, we can supply a package of goods, and put you in touch with an expert scythe teacher. Customers include land managers at The National Trust, RSPB, BTCV, London Zoo, and many Wildlife Trusts, County Councils and District Councils.

TUITION

Maintaining and using a scythe requires some skill. All scythes are supplied with detailed instructions, and if you buy a scythe direct from the store, by appointment, I can give you some quick tips. Novices wanting to cut substantial areas of grass are advised to attend a course. I run about three courses for beginners and improvers every year; please click on Beginners' Courses to see when the next courses will be held. I can also sometimes provide one-to-one tuition, by appointment, depending how busy I am.

Back in 2005 I think I was the only scythe tutor in Britain. Now there are a number of other very competent scythe tutors around the country. They can be contacted through http://scytheassociation.org/courses/

There are some excellent videos available on YouTube, placed there by the Vido family (http://www.youtube.com/user/kaivido), Neil Dudman (http://www.youtube.com/user/ndudman8) and Botan Anderson of Mystic Prairie (http://www.youtube.com/user/Scythesman8). Many thanks to them for this service.

WEST COUNTRY SCYTHE FESTIVAL

The 2024 Green Scythe Fair, which attracts about 5,000 people, will take place on Sunday 9 June, at Muchelney, Langport, Somerset.http://www.thescytheshop.co.uk/festival.html

PETER VIDO

I wish to acknowledge my debt to the late Peter Vido, who provided an incalculable amount of help and advice. Peter, with the help of his family, did more than anybody to revive scythe use in the English-speaking world, and to unveil the subtleties of this tool. His website goes deeper than mine into mowing and sharpening techniques, and acts as an international information point. www.scytheconnection.com. If you want to see mowing as it should be done, watch Peter and his family on this video.http://www.scytheconnection.com/adp/video/index.html.

FAVOURITE TESTIMONIAL

Octagenarian Walter Lloyd writes: "I got back from Appleby Fair at the weekend and found the scythe waiting for me. A beautiful tool. Doing half an hour to an hour a day I have already mown a fifth of an acre. Just waiting for the sun to turn it into hay. I find mowing less effort than walking down the field."

SABI: THE SCYTHE ASSOCIATION OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND (SABI)

An association for promoting the use of the scythe was inaugurated early in 2011, and is now fully established with its own website here http://scytheassociation.org/ SABI produces an email newsletter, The Windrow, which is sent out to every member.

MY CONTACT DETAILS

PHONE NUMBER: 01297 561359 daytime or evening until 11 pm; best time to phone is Monday 10.30 am to 1 pm. If I don't answer, please send an email and do not leave an answermachine message as I normally only check the messages on Mondays.

E-MAIL: scythes@myphone.coop (and please cc to chapter7@tlio.org.uk)

POSTAL ADDRESS: Simon Fairlie (Scythes), Monkton Wyld Court, Charmouth, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6DQ, UK.

 

PICTURE CREDIT
The illustration at the top of the page is by Gill Barron who also helps me run the business. Feast your eyes at http://www.ipaint.org.uk/