With the right training in scythe use and sharpening a good scythe is a surprisingly economical and efficient tool for mowing small to modest areas of grassland. Here are some courses and events which can help equip you with the skills you need.

Scythe group mowing

To participate in these events you do not need previous experience with a scythe - in fact if, like many before, you have tried and failed with a blunt old implement you are advised to take this opportunity to put this experience behind you! Scything is also a cheaper and more productive way of getting fit as compared with a visit to the Gym!


Flora locale course: Practical scything & grassland management

Wednesday 28th June 2017. Emorsgate Seeds, Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

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.

Flora locale scythe training group

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 relative merits of the scythe, petrol strimmers and tractor mowers will be compared.

This event will take place on the sown wild flower meadows around Emorsgate's seed farm. Scythes will be available to borrow or purchase on the day.

This course is part of the flora locale training programme.

Fee £100 / £75 concessions - to book contact flora locale



Flora locale course: Scything & grassland management

Thursday 15 June 2017. Bath, Somerset

This practical scythe course will be delivered by experienced scythesman and conservationist Chris Riley in meadows on Emorsgate's wild flower farm near Bath.

Chris will give instruction on how to set up a scythe optimally, how to keep it sharp, and how to mow with an efficient movement. He will demonstrate the different types of blade available for mowing small wild flower meadows, as well as weeds, verges and even lawns.

Chris will use his 25 years experience as a wild life trust officer and the varied and diverse botanical habitats on our farm to discuss grassland management with a scythe.


This course is part of the flora locale training programme.

Fee £100 / £75 concessions - for furthre information and to book see flora locale


Scything & Smallholders Weekend

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June, 2017. Wimpole Hall, Cambs. (National Trust)

An opportunity for a day out, to learn about wild flowers, managing meadows and scything, and to seek expert advice from Simon Damant (National Trust) and Richard Brown (Emorsgate Seeds) and others.

The weekend also includes many practical rural craft demonstrations: Pole Lathers, blacksmiths, hurdle makers, wood carver, furniture maker, various green woodworking and sheep shearing. The weekend culminates with the 9th Eastern Counties Scything Competition on Sunday afternoon (open to all abilities bring your own scythe!).

Wimpole Scything

Saturday 24th June 2017- Scything course for beginners and improvers

If you are looking to develop your knowledge of meadow management and proper use of a scythe this course will provide you with the essential skills you need to take home and put into practice. The course includes setting up the scythe ready for mowing, how to mow efficiently and effectively and how to hone and peen the blade to keep it sharp.

Price:  £60

For more information see and to book see National Trust website or contact


The Scythe Festival and South Somerset Green Fair

10th & 11th June 2017, Muchelney, Near Langport, Somerset

On Saturday 11th June there will be scything and hay making courses and workshops for both beginners and for mowers with some experience. The courses are led by Simon Fairlie with contributions from others including Richard Brown from Emorsgate Seeds. On Sunday, which is the festival proper, there will be a wider range of events including scything competitions.

see for details


Scything demonstration

Saturday 22nd July 2017. Oxburgh Hall (NT), Norfolk

Richard Brown from Emorsgate seeds will be giving talks and demonstrations on scything and meadow management from 11am - 3pm in the walled garden at Oxburgh Hall. He will be available to give advice, so come along if you need help with either wild flower management or scythes. (and bring your scythe along  if you have one!)

Advice and talks free but normal NT entry fees apply.

Oxburgh Hall training

For other training events and courses in your area visit the SABI website

Posted on 01 February 2017,
Category: Events