Scythe Championship – Sunday 14th June 2020
The competition for individuals is based on mowing a 5m x 5m square of grass as quickly as possible. It must be a neat job though, because penalty times are added for an uneven cut or missed areas. The West Country Scythe Champion may not be the person with the fastest time! Can Kevin Austin snatch back the title from titanic speed merchant George Montague? There are also prizes for age categories, English scythe, and other special awards.
There is no additional fee for Fair-goers to compete. Due to there being a limited area of grass available, there is a system of heats. In the heats, you have to mow along a strip, as much as you can in one minute. The best times (again taking quality into consideration) go forward to the finals.
The other contests are taken less seriously. The team mowing is a demonstration of the effectiveness and beauty of mowing together. Nonetheless some teams will go for it, as there are some long-standing rivalries between regions!
The hay race is just for fun, and always a spectacle. The scythe versus strimmer race is a classic rivalry between petrochemical inefficiency and scythe muscle. It's a must to watch, if you can stand the noise of the strimmer!
Last year Simon Damant, winner in 2015 snatched back the championship title from 6ft 11in speed merchant George Montague. Can George reclaim it? Or will 2016 champion Kevin “Kiwi" Austin find his form again?
Before this year's championship at 3.00pm, don't miss the team mowing event, the scythe versus strimmer competition, and the haymaking race.
And if you fancy your chances, enter the heats and see how many metres you can mow in a minute — any time between 11 am and 2pm.
Approximate Times (these are for 2019 – please come back for 2020)
Opening of individual scything competition heats: mow as much as possible in 30 seconds
TEAM RACES and team mowing demonstrations
SCYTHE VS STRIMMER
FINALS of the individual competition 5m x 5m
RESULTS and PRESENTATIONS of prizes
The information below is based on the course held in 2019; the format may change somewhat in 2020.
at the Green Scythe Fair – Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June 2020
A two day course
Learn how to get your blades sharper and to scythe expertly
• 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, including Phil Batten master peener and scythe competition winner from Scythe Cymru; and Steve Tomlin author of the definitive scythe manual Learn to Scythe.
The course covers: correct set up of the tool; your mowing stance and style; sharpening, peening and repairing blades; teaching and organizing volunteers and novices; optional workshops on the English scythe, grassland management, and haymaking by hand.
Meals are provided. Camping on site is available.
Nicole Clough of Bucks Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust who did this course writes:
"I came away with a far deeper understanding of the scythe and my technique, as well as the tools and course structure to teach others in a safe and efficient manner. It has revolutionised our team at BBOWT, and we now use scythes for a great many of our tasks. As a result our management is more wildlife sensitive and volunteer friendly. A number of my colleagues have now also done the course. This has enabled us to train in the region of 50 staff and volunteers across our three counties in just 2 years. Great for wildlife, great for people."
It costs £150, or £250 for two people; £175 for organizations; £100 unwaged (limited numbers).
To book, email Simon at email@example.com
The venue is at Thorney Lakes. Muchelney, near Langport www.thorneylakes.co.uk
at the Green Scythe Fair – Saturday 8th June 2019
A one day course
With tutors Andi Rickard and Kevin Austin.
The course covers: setting up the tool; how to mow grass and weeds; sharpening, peening and repairing blades; optional workshops on the English scythe, grassland management, and haymaking by hand.
The cost is £65 per person, or £110 for two, including lunch.
The venue is at Thorney Lakes. Muchelney, near Langport www.thorneylakes.co.uk.
Please apply to Mary Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 07950 004237