European Scything Championships Austria 2019

Kevin European Championships Austria

After Switzerland 2017, where Kevin and Nigel Adams, attended and competed in the European Scything Championships for the first time, this year, a party of four went to Austria representing Great Britain and Ireland. The competition is held every two years.

The team comprised of Andy Rickard, Jonathan Adams and Kevin Austin, and was managed by Nigel Adams.

Uk-Ireland team -European Championships Austria

We Flew to Munich and drove over the border into Northern Austria, to St. Florian where the competition took place.

Material to be cut turned out to be quite different than expected, predominantly lucerne with rye grass underneath.

Once again, Austria triumphed as a team, and also the ladies, but the men’s champion came from South Tyrol.

For Team GB, although way down in the placings, great fun was had by all, and valuable experience was gained for future events.

Needing to change our style and technique for the racing setup!

Bring on Slovenia 2021!!

Beginner’s Scything Course July 2019

Manual hay baler

Thanks to Sandy, Peter, Guy and Jack, who were on Skyegrove’s second beginner’s course for the season. They were all quick learners and did a great job at mowing the orchard.

Hay Bales

Now all baled and in the barn before the rains come, hopefully!!

European Scything Championships — 2019

The European Championships are held every 2 years. This year, champions, Austria, are holding the championship.

Time for some practice!

A variety of larger competition blades, going up to 135cm, are generally used, as shown in the photo!

Scythe blades - European Scything championships

National Scythe Competition — Wimpole 2019

The wonderful National Trust property, Wimpole Estate in Royston Cambridgeshire, holds the annual history and craft festival, including the National Scythe competition.

Wimpole National Scythe Competition - Kevin

The West Country team won the Team mowing. It is here where the larger areas are mown.

Wimpole National Scythe Competition - Group

Kevin enjoys the longer distances as he manages large areas for his living. He won the national Quarter of an acre in a time of 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Scything — New Zealand

Kevin - Golden Bay - New Zealand

Hi Everyone!

Apologies for the lack of posts but I’m away in New Zealand on sabbatical. 

Travelling and walking the tracks of new Zealand with my scythe to earn my keep! And researching the scything and homesteading lifestyle in New Zealand.

Kevin - Scything - New Zealand

Estonia 2018

Tallin, Estonia

Kevin spent 10 days scything and travelling the National Parks of Estonia back in July.

Estonia is the least populated EU country at only 1.3 million and 450,000 live in the Capital of Tallin. Arrival city for flights is Tallin its a wonderful cultural city with a fantastic medieval history, the country is inhabited by 80% Estonians and 20% Russian.

Estonia is in Northern Europe opposite Finland on the banks of the Baltic and over 50% forested and still has populations of Lynx, moose, bear etc.

The scything took place in ancient woodland meadows, teaching students (to maintain this ancient system). The biting insects were nightmarish mozzies, horseflies and noseeems (you don’t see them but you certainly feel them!

Interestingly blade maintenance involved scraping an edge onto the blade! this was effective short term, but I stilled preferred to peen, which also tempers the edge(was teaching this method).

As with Eastern Europe straight snaths were used being cheaper and easily replacable. Blades were Russian grass blades not ideal for the woodland meadows due to the small trees that needed mowing.

The access and use of national parks was brilliant, including Laheema, sooma and Karula. The National parks hold amazing unique eco systems found in the numerous raised bog landscapes all board walked out and with freely accessible camping.

A trip to Estonia highly recommended.

International Peening Day 2018

Skyegrove Penning Day 2018

Thanks to everyone for attending the Skyegrove International Peening Day. A cold blustery day made it not particularly good conditions, but luckily the barn was useful and the pigs kept us entertained especially when the afternoon cakes came out.

Elle getting master peening instructions from Anthony. The group pictured are from the Pentiddy Natural Burial Ground.

Kevin at The European Scything Championships 2017

Brunnen, SwitzerlandThe highlight for August was a trip to participate in the European Scything championships in Brunnen Switzerland. It takes place every 2 years rotating around the European countries taking part and this was the first time British competitors have taken place.

Kevin attended with his friend Nigel Adams and feels they represented well, having to adjust style and technique to the big blades borrowed, and the low stance required for the set up.

Nigel achieved one of the highest ranking quality plots and Kevin won an overall prize for style and technique, although their times were well down compared to the Olympian scythe masters!The Swiss were so wonderfully hospitable and welcoming, so lots of practice for 2 years time in Austria who are the champions.

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Brunnen, Switzerland