Scything Comes to Corsham!
Our scything group was set up in 2019 to manage the wildflower grassland at Springfield Community Campus. Our initial training, led by UK Women’s Champion Andi Rickard, was funded by Corsham Climate Action and the trainees themselves. Andi, from the Somerset Scythe School (www.somersetscytheschool.com), was very impressed with the group who quickly transformed from beginners to competent scythers.
We were also taught the art of peening – a ‘peasant engineering’ technique of precisely hammering the blade edge prior to fine honing with a whetstone. This is generally carried out seated on an upturned bucket using a log as a workbench! A teaching member of the Scythe Association of Britain & Ireland (www.scytheassociation.org), Andi is an inspirational trainer who soon had everyone hooked! The group now owns equipment and continues managing Springfield Campus wildflower grassland and the Community Orchard.
Scything is a quiet traditional skill that is non-polluting, using muscles rather than fossil fuels, and well suited to community members working as a team. It provides good core strengthening exercise and improves balance. Scything also benefits biodiversity by being gentler on insects and small creatures and allowing precise mowing around certain plants. It is gentler on humans too and a lot of fun – though it was too cold for the bare-chested Poldark style! If you’d like to have a go, contact us via the email link on the home page.