Winter scything course

My scythe season normally runs from May to October with the majority of courses taking place in the spring and summer. However the scythe is a tool suitable for managing all kinds of vegetation and which can work in any weather. So when the Wildlife Trust at Bickershaw Country Park near Warrington got in touch for a scythe training course in November, I put on my warm layers and headed over.

Scythe course in Lancashire


The group have recently decided to try to bring back into management a small wildflower meadow and orchard which are perfect locations for scything. The ground is low-lying, on fairly poor soil and hasn’t been cut for several years so we were tackling long, overgrown grasses.

Wildlife Trust volunteers scything wildflower meadow Wildlife Trust volunteer using an Austrian scythe in a wildflower meadow

The group started with learning how to set up an Austrian scythe, hone the edge and the principles of cutting. Then we headed into the meadow to start work. It’s always brilliant to see how quickly people can start to effectively use a scythe with some proper training and for them to see how effective the tool can be. Amongst various comments about how much fun it was and how the scythe was easier and as quick as a strimmer, they cleared a big area and didn’t want to stop as we neared the end of the day.

Wildlife Trust volunteers with scythes

Austrian scythes are lightweight, quiet, effective on a range of vegetation and, compared to a strimmer, a very cheap tool for land management. If you’re part of a group and would like to book a workshop for the 2020 season, please get in touch via email stevetomlin8[at]

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