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.

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

Haymaking at Skyegrove

Adrian & Barry with bailerWe had a very busy July after returning from the competitions, having to catch up with our own haymaking! It was lovely to have Adrian & Barry visit for a peening workshop, and Barry also brought along his handbaler which he hopes shortly to put into commercial production.

He is currently ironing out a few minor details.

I thought it demonstrated excellent quality in producing a mini bale of medium weight!

If anyone would like further information on this exciting innovation, please contact me.