The Art of Scything

Scything is making a comeback! Why is this ancient farming method having such a resurgence?

scythe, permaculture, estate, grounds, horticulture

The low impact of scything on the environment as well as many health benefits are the driving factors behind this movement. More and more people are adopting this method of mowing.

A resurgence at Combe Grove

Here at Combe Grove, our Estates team are taking part in a one-day training course with the scything expert Chris Riley. We have four Austrian scythes on order and soon scything will become one of the many eco-friendly practices that the Estates Team uses to manage the land.

Our reasons for learning the practice

The scythe is designed ergonomically to work with the body, meaning that when it is used correctly, it is possible to scythe for long periods of time and not feel too tired. The exercise itself is core strengthening and coupled with the fact that it encourages mindfulness and improves mental wellbeing, it is a very healthy practice to learn.

Progressively more people want to feel a physical connection with the work they do. The preservation of old methods and developing a connection with the work of past generations is becoming increasingly popular. These reasons and the fact that it creates minimal disturbance to wildlife make it an ideal tool for us to adopt at Combe Grove.

  “If you keep your blade honed and peened the scythe is perhaps the most efficient and effective tool for cutting grass ever developed.”

Paul Kingsnorth


There’s even a Scything Fair…

In fact, scything is becoming so popular that every year on the nearby Somerset Levels you can attend the Green Scythe fair and enjoy traditional skills, crafts, music, environmental debates and local organic food. You can even witness the effectiveness of the scythe in the entertaining scythe vs strimmer competition.

Your chance to learn

If you would like to try your hand at scything and learn more about this approach, we’ve arranged for a public training day with Chris. We have ten places available on this workshop where you will receive expert tuition and enjoy a healthy light lunch at Combe Grove. If you would like to find out a bit more or book your place have a look at our event page.

scythe, permaculture