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Scythe Information

The Eighteenth West Country Scythe Festival

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The central arena of the Green Scythe Fair is where scythers from all over the country gather to celebrate the resurgence of this wonderful tool and it's associated skills. This is the biggest and best scythe event in the country, and seems to get better and better every year!

The main competition involves mowing a 5m x 5m square plot as quickly as possible. But a poor quality finish will acrue penalty points, and so it is not always the fastest time that wins. The overall champion hasn't always been a man, but last years champion was a Somerset local, Richard Toogood. You can read a full report of the competition in 2023 here:



Anyone with a scythe can take part in this competition as there are heats to select the main runners. When bringing a scythe to the event please carry the blade separately with the sharp edge safely covered. There will be a time and place to check in for the competition, so look out for further information about this on the day.

There will also be demonstrations of team mowing, the infamous 'scythe versus strimmer' contest, and haymaking events. There will be Austrian scythes for sale, and you can find out more about the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland.



The location of each event will be shown on a notice in the Scythe Tent along with any changes to the schedule and the lists of those qualifying to compete in the finals. 


Beginner's and Improver's scythe competitions in the heats area

12 midday

General heats open – how fast you can cut 5m x 1.8m with penalty points for poorer quality


Hay Race


Scythe vs. Strimmer race


Team races and mowing demonstrations / Heats Close


List of qualifiers for the finals published in the Scythe marquee 


Finals of the individual competition 5m x 5m 


Judging of the scything finals


Results and Presentation of prizes

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Saturday Courses
Scythe Courses and SABI workshops

In the two days prior to the Fair on Sunday, there are scything courses at the same venue. These offer an unrivalled opportunity to connect with other scythers at all levels of experience, and who are only too pleased to share their expertise and knowledge to help you develop your proficiency. 

In addition, a selection of workshops are held on Saturday afternoon for members of the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland (SABI).  Previous years workshops have included Grassland management, Hay making, Peening, and English scythes to give a taste of what could be on offer.  The workshops are free to attend but must be pre-booked in advance.  Non-members can become members for £10 and more info will be available from SABI in the coming months.


Below is more information about the courses:

Beginners Scythe Course (£85)

at the Green Scythe Fair – Friday 7th June 2024

A one day course for:

- novice mowers with little or no experience

- people looking for a refresher in the fundamentals of scything

- all equipment provided

Throughout the day, you will get focused attention from one of the following experienced tutors:

• Colin Close, Devon based mower and winner of the Veterans cup 2023!

• Beth Tilston, based in the forest of Dean and previous women’s champion.

• Danny Hodgson, of mid-Wales, current English cup holder.

• Joseph Haywood, Yorkshire based mower and scythe advocate.


The course covers:

• Scythe set up and selection

• Efficient and ergonomic mowing stance

• Safe and effective sharpening technique

• An introduction to peening

• Methods of tackling different grass swards

Learn to scythe and go away with the confidence to further your skill.


The course fee includes lunch. There are additional workshops available on the Saturday for SABI members with opportunities to join on the Friday. Camping on site is available at extra cost for those wishing to attend these. Does not include entry to the Sunday Fair.


The cost is £85 for individuals. Concession (unwaged) £50. Organisations £100 per person

Places must be booked in advance. For general enquires, camping enquiries or any booking issues please email

Go to the ticket site, and select the option 'Saturday 8th June Courses Only' (this does also include the Improvers' Masterclass which starts the previous day). Another box appears below this called 'WORKSHOPS/CHILDREN/CARBON TAX', click on the link. Course info here has further instructions.

Scythe Improvers' Masterclass (£175)

at the Green Scythe Fair – Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June 2024

A two day course for:

-    mowers with some experience who want to develop their skills

-    team leaders managing volunteers or staff

-    people who want to teach scythe use to others.


Over two days, you will get personal attention from three of the most experienced teachers in the UK, namely:


  • Kevin Austin, scythe teacher from Cornwall, former UK champion mower.

  • Phil Batten, master peener and scythe competition winner from Scythe Cymru;

  • Andi Rickard, of the Somerset Scythe School, current UK champion mower.


The course covers:

  • improving the set up of the scythe

  • improving mowing stance and style

  • sharpening, peening and repairing blades

  • teaching

  • organizing volunteers and novices


Learn to get your blade sharper and to scythe expertly!


The course fee includes lunch on both days and entry to the fair on Sunday. Camping on site is available at extra cost.


The cost is £175 for individuals. Concession (unwaged) £100. Organisations £200 per person.


Places must be booked in advance. For general enquires, camping enquiries or any booking issues please email

Go to the ticket site, select 'Tickets Here' and select the course.

Please see  for more courses

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