Fans of Aidan Turner will be pleased to know that scything is to feature as one of the many harvest demo’s running at Toby’s Garden & Harvest Festival this autumn. Hosted by Dorset-based scythe trainer Chris Riley of Pratensis Countryside Services, the demo’s will show how to manage long grass areas and wildflower meadows using a continental scythe.
Chris, who says bookings for his scything courses have doubled since Turner’s shirtless scything scene in the period drama last autumn will also be giving Festival-goers a chance to try their hand at this ancient skill in the long grass of the historic grounds of Forde Abbey, where the Festival takes place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.
Chris says, “Scything is fun and satisfying to do and it helps you to be more aware of the wildlife around you whilst promoting the growth of wild flowers.”
Chris believes scything is a skill that deserves to be kept alive as it reduces carbon emissions, has a low running cost and when done properly it is good exercise. Because it can be done without the constant thrum of a mower, it’s a task that can be done to sound of birdsong, promoting well-being and mindfulness.
Chris will be demonstrating scything techniques both days of the Festival on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September. A range of continental scythes will also be on sale.
More about Chris Riley
Chris Riley is an experienced scyther with a background in leading groups of conservation volunteers. Chris is active in the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland and regularly instructs those wanting an efficient and enjoyable method of cutting down vegetation. Find out more from www.pratensis.net