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Scroll down for details about the Improvers' and Beginners' Courses at the West Country Scythe Fair


The Two day Course at Monkton Wyld Court on 12-14 September is now Cancelled

Instead we have a Free One-Day Scythe Course on 29 August 2023.
To book or find out more, email scythes@myphone.coop


Two-day Scythe Courses in Dorset

Including a session on grassland management and haymaking.

At Monkton Wyld Court, near Lyme Regis, Dorset

16-18 May 2023

Tutors: Simon Fairlie, with Camilo Liarte and Jared Hills

Two day course in scything, covering set-up, mowing, sharpening, peening (freehand and with jig), haymaking by hand and some aspects of grassland management. The course is particularly relevant for people who keep livestock.m
Lunch is included. Accommodation and other meals are available on site.

The next course begins Tuesday evening 16 May. Ends 5pm Thursday 18 May
For information about the course content: scythes@myphone.coop. For prices, booking etc: info@monktonwyldcourt.org, 01297 560342, http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/

More information and three photos below:

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, plus snath set-up
• 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;
• small-scale haymaking techniques;
• peening practice with jig and bar peen anvil

You can bring your own scythe, but I supply scythes for anyone who hasn't got one.
You can buy scythes and other equipment from me: payment by cheque or cash.

For more information about course content e-mail scythes@myphone.coop

To book on the course or for information about Monkton Wyld Court http://www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk/

Monkton Wyld Court is on the Dorset/Devon border, half a mile from the A35 and four miles from Axminster station.





Basic Outdoor Handtools Use and Maintenance

A three day course for the complete novice ,

with Kevin Austin and Simon Fairlie

Date to be arranged, probably February 2023, at Monkton Wyld Court, near Lyme Regis, Dorset.
The course covers scythes, haymaking tools, garden and cultivation tools, hedging, fencing, hoists and pulleys, simple gate and hurdle making, repairing handles, and much more.

For more information and booking see Monkton Wyld's website

Improvers' Masterclass at the West Country Scythe Fair

Muchelney, Langport, Somerset

9-10 June 2023

Why Struggle? Learn how to get your blades sharper and to scythe expertly at the IMPROVERS' MASTERCLASS at the West Country Scythe Fair for:
• 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, namely
Phil Batten master peener and scythe competition winner from Scythe Cymru;
Andi Ricard, of the Somerset Scythe School, currently UK champion mower.
Kevin Austin scythe teacher from Cornwall, and former UK champion mower.

The course covers: correct set up of the tool; your mowing stance and style; sharpening, peening and repairing blades; teaching scythe use; and organizing volunteers and novices; plus 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/

You can find out more about the Green Scythe Fair at https://www.greenfair.org.uk

Meals are provided. Camping on site is available. And you get free entry to the Scythe Fair on Sunday 12 June.

Nicole Clough of Bucks Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust who did this course 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. 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.

Price to be announced shortly. To book, email Simon at scythes@myphone.coop

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

Colin Close now sends out The Scythe Association's newsletter, The Windrow, which lists scything events, courses and developments in the UK. It comes out once or twice 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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