A two-day hands-on course held in a beautiful location
Saturday 3 - Sunday 4 August 2013
Day 1: 10am - 5pm
Day 2: 9.30am - 3.30pm, with an optional 7am start for the enthusiastic!
Stanmer Park, Brighton
(Click here if you would like to be notified about future runs of this course/event.)
You will learn how to cut grass and weeds without the need of a noisy fossil fuel burning lawnmower or strimmer. The course will cover everything you need to know on how to use and maintain a scythe, leaving you with the skills and knowledge needed to mow anything from a small lawn to a meadow and even brambles, and also traditional hay making. Plenty of hands-on guidance from the tutor will enable you to leave as a competent scytheperson.
What will the Scything course cover?
The course will look into the history and theory of Scything and how it can be applied to a variety of settings such as lawns, fields, meadows, allotments, brambles, etc. The majority of the course will be focused on providing the participants with the practical skills through hands-on experience of mowing grass, weeds and brambles. Meadow management and hay making will also be discussed and demonstrated. The number of course participants is limited, so you will benefit from a lot of individual guidance from the tutor.
Selecting and setting up the scythe and snath (handle) will be covered (you have the option of ordering your own scythe to be available on the course day, see below for details). Maintaining and especially sharpening the blade will be an important part of the course, and you will learn the art of 'peening' (hammering the blade on an anvil).
Who is the course for?
The course will be of interest to anyone with vegetation to cut including gardeners, allotment holders and horticulturists. No prior knowledge of scything is needed. This course is open to anyone aged 16 or over
Scything is a little less strenuous than one might expect but please be aware that much of the work does involve twisting and moving of the back.
You must be willing to spend most of the duration of the course out of doors, whatever the weather. Most of the theoretical parts of the course will be held under cover.
Learning methods and outcomes
A theory session will begin the course, followed by the practicalities of setting up and preparing the scythe, before some practical demonstrations. You will also be provided with a 24 page A4 information pack called Notes on the Use of the Austrian Scythe that will reinforce and cover all the theory and techniques covered. However, the majority of the course will be devoted to practical hands-on experience with guidance from the tutor. By the end of the course participants will have the practical skills and techniques necessary to mow lawns, fields, meadows, allotments, brambles, etc. There will be plenty of opportunitys to ask questions throughout the course.
What does the Scything course lead on to?
This short specialist course is not accredited, but should provide participants with the skills needed to begin using a scythe in a home or professional setting.
Tuition will be provided by Simon Fairlie, a very experienced scythesman who has been teaching the subject for many years. He is passionate about the reintroduction of the art of scything in the British Isles, has an extensive knowledge of the subject and imports scythes from the continent. See www.thescytheshop.co.uk
Stephan Gehrels, from Brighton Permaculture Trust, will be assisting Simon. Stephan runs school environmental projects in Brighton and has experience of managing orchards and growing plots using a scythe.
Beth Tilston, from Brighton Permaculture Trust, will also be assisting. She is an experienced scyther, competing at scythe festivals and also the author of various publication on sustainable living.
Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex), Brighton. Click here for directions to our meeting point near the church in Stanmer Park.
Click here for details of local accommodation and to find out about Brighton Permaculture Trust supporters who can provide accommodation in their homes.
Buying a scythe for the course
We recommend you bring your own scythe, if you have one. You also have the option of buying your own for the day of the course. (If you do not have one and wish to purchase one, scythes will be available to borrow on the day.)
You can order your own scythe from the tutors' shop. This will be brought along for you on the day of the course. You will save yourself the postage costs (around £18 for a complete set) and will gain the tutors' expertise in setting it up on the day. This is a limited offer that will be available on a first come, first served basis as he will be travelling by train.
The scythes on offer are the Austrian make Schröckenfux. Made since 1540, these are hand-forged blades that are recognised around the world as being of the highest quality.
For a product list, please visit The Scythe Shop product list.
For a price list visit The Scythe Shop price list
To order a scythe, please use The Scythe Shop order form and indicate next to postage 'for Brighton course'. A complete set, that includes a snath (adjustable handle), a blade (of your choice), sharpening stones and a peening jig, will cost you £126.
In addition to the booklet provided, this book is recommended: The Scythe Book by David Tresemer.
Fees include tuition, refreshments, handouts and information sheets.
£200 - Sponsored/organisation rate
£200 - Individual income more than 25k/yr
£160 - Individual income 18-25k/yr
£120 - Individual income less than 18k/yr
£80 - Individual, concessionary rate (please read below)
Concessionary rates are available to people in receipt of a state pension, means-tested benefits (including housing benefit, council tax benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit (income does not exceed £16,190) and/or Child Tax Credit), and full-time students. Please bring evidence of this to the course.
We endeavour to make our courses/events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of our courses/events and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.
See the cancellations and refunds policy.
Booking the Scything course
Booking is essential, as most of our courses/events are fully booked weeks in advance. However, if places are still available, then bookings can be made until midday the day before the course/event. A place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.
Please do not book unless you are able to pay for your place.
Paying for your place
Please read this section carefully.
When you complete the booking process, you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you haven't received that email within the next few hours, please contact us immediately, as this email contains vital information regarding your booking.
You can pay when you book your place using a credit/debit card or PayPal, or you can tick the 'Pay later' box (in the Event Fee section), which gives you the option to pay by BACS or send us a cheque after you have booked.
If you tick the pay later box, you will have 7 days to pay for your place. Bookings that remain unpaid on our system for longer than that will expire. You will receive notification of this expiration by email. If you then decide you want to come, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a place available for you.
If you are booking within two weeks of the course, you will not have the option to pay later. Instead, you will need to pay immediately at the point of booking using a credit card or PayPal. This will also be the only option available if the course is nearly fully booked.
Be certain that you understand ALL the information on this page, then:
Register here for Scything, 3-4 August 2013
If place are available, you will be automatically taken to the booking form.
For further information or if you have problems with your registration, please contact us.