Practical scything for managing wildflower meadows

Please use our eventbrite links to book your place

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.

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.

Dates for this 2024 courses:

Scything refresher and peening workshop (2 x half day courses)

Thursday 4th July 2024 (AM & PM sessions) – Book here AM session  and PM session

Ticket Price £15

If you have been using your scythe for a while, and would now like to improve mowing technique and blade sharpness, then this half day workshop is for you.

Peening (hammering the edge to make it thinner) is a technique characteristic of continental scythe blades (ie NOT traditional English blades). Learn how to peen, and how peening fits into general blade sharpening and maintenance.

am course 9.30-12.30 (arrival by 9.15 for registration and coffee)

pm course 1.30-4.30 (arrival by 1.15 for registration and coffee)

Workshop content:

Bring your own scythe preferably, though equipment can also be provided for eg peening practice. The workshop will cover the following:

  • Peening to maintain blade profile
  • blade repair by peening
  • refresher for optimal setup and blade adjustments
  • coaching in mowing technique

Practical scything for managing wildflower meadows

Friday 5th July 2024 (8 spaces) – Book here

Saturday 6th July 2024 (8 spaces) – Book here

Ticket price £20


9.30am: Arrivals, registration and coffee

10:00-12.30: Introduction to the scythe 

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

1.30-3.30pm: Scythe practice and maintenance

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

15.30/16:00 Depart

Please use our eventbrite links to book your place