Scything the burial ground

Scything the Quaker burial ground
I’ve been running my Learn to Scythe courses at the lovely Brigflatts Quaker Meeting House for a few years now. It’s a gorgeous venue and been brilliant to see how the meadow has improved thanks to the regular mowing of my students.
This year, the warden has been away a lot dealing with family business and his wife mentioned that they hadn’t had chance to cut the grass in the burial ground. So I spent a pleasant couple of hours one evening mowing the area for them.
Scything the Quaker burial ground Scything the Quaker burial ground
The scythe is the perfect tool for burial grounds and churchyards. The quiet atmosphere isn’t disturbed, there are no fumes or pollution and the scythe doesn’t damage any of the stones. I’ve taught a few courses for groups managing areas like this and hope that more will follow. If you have a group that would like to learn, I can come and teach you at your own site – email me for more details.

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4 Responses to Scything the burial ground

  1. Derek Rowe says:

    How wonderful Steve, I wish you well, I used to ply golf on a 9 hole course in the North. The old green keeper Fred, was a wizard with a scythe, he used to cut all the rough with it at about. 4 inches very clever and so quick,, I can still here him now whisling while he worked. Happy days.

  2. René says:

    Not only that place needs a man working on it instead of a machine…
    The noise is – in my opinion – only one aspect.
    You mention another one: less pollution through exhaust gases.
    One more point – and this example makes it very clear for most of us – is: Working silently shows respect to the dead.
    I’d like to add: Not only dead people like it when they are not disturbed…
    I do live in a city area. Focused only on “gardening” work around me: There are leaf blowers, lawn tractors, chain saws, brushcutters – to name only the common ones.
    How noisy all this tools are and how stinky! That is not healthy for the people around. And it certainly isn’t for the men working with the tools. They need eye and ear protection, sometimes use masks and often safety gloves or trousers. Poor them. Not only because they have to do bad things to their body. Their income is low, too. And they are normally only a group of few.
    I often wish the employers would sell their machines, buy decent hand tools, hire more people and send them to courses like the ones you offer.
    Wearing ear protection and working next to loud machine noises is not very communicative; the working men and women only got a small chance to chat and laugh, to interact with other humans, their thoughts and ideas. Quite the contrast: That stinky, noisy job makes them mentally tired, hurts their nerves and makes them more aggressive. Can’t prove it, but I am sure there is a scientific study to proof that. If you can’t find one: Walk across the street, ask the man on the lawn tractor how he feels after a working day: If his work was inspiring, or if he had the chance to talk about important things with his colleagues, if he had the chance to connect with the nature around him, if the protective gear is comfortable,… .
    Reading about scything, tree climbers, hedge laying and so on, I often wonder, if there ain’t a man or woman who combines these “hand tool gardening” aspects in one business – buys decent tools, hires men and women, runs courses with them as trainers, acts as consultant and therefore as a social entrepreneur.

  3. Eric Reip says:

    I cut weeds with hand cutting shears rather than a 2 cycle gas weed string trimmer. Enjoyed the article. Eric Reip from Ohio.

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