Meadow Keepers Scythe Taster

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Date(s) - 07/04/2018
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Sutton Way Entrance

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Join St Nicks Nature Reserve Manager and experienced scythe tutor Jonathan Dent for a practical session introducing the heritage and volunteer friendly skill of scything as a flexible grassland management tool.

This practical session will teach you how to use traditional Austrian scythes for managing wildlife-rich grasslands. Scythes can be used for cutting grass, nettles, brambles, weeds and up to 1 year old self-seeded saplings, which makes them a really versatile and green tool. The session will cover:

  • Practical mowing and blade sharpening skills to use a scythe effectively and safely
  • Correct setting up of scythes and handles for body sizes
  • Health and safety when mowing
  • How scythe use can maximise the wildlife potential of meadows and grassland
  • How scything can empower and engage individuals and community groups

The sessions will focus on mowing a coarse area of grassland at Clifton Backies LNR to help promote the development of wildflowers within the sward.

St Nicks’ Meadow Keepers Project has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players this 2-year project will help improve the management and subsequently the condition of 170 acres of grassland habitat at 15 green space sites across the city. Grasslands are important for wildlife and biodiversity – we are keen to keep them buzzing in York!

Free entry. Booking is essential via All tools and equipment provided but if you have your own scythe please bring it along. Please bring appropriate outdoor clothing and packed lunch. Drinks & biscuits will be provided