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Scythe Championship
Sunday 11th June

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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! Will Kevin Austin (from Cornwall) retain his title? 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!
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Can Kevin Austin from Cornwall (not long out of hospital after an operation) retain his title?

Will Simon Damant who held the title for six years reclaim it?

Could Ladies champion Andi Ricard beat all the blokes?

Or will a new contender rise from the ranks?

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Approximate Times

11am– 2.15pm
12 midday
12.30pm
1pm
3–5pm
6pm

Individual competition - Heats
Team Mowing
Scythe versus Strimmer
Hay Race
Individual Competition – finals 5m x 5m
Presentations
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Beginners' Course
at the West Country Scythe Fair
Saturday 10th June
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With Kevin Austin, current scythe champion;
Andi Ricard, current ladies scythe champion;
Chris Riley, a man of many hats;

The course covers:
correct set up of the tool; your mowing stance and style;
sharpening, peening and repairing blades;
optional workshops on the English scythe, grassland management, and haymaking by hand.

The cost is £60 including lunch.
Camping on site is available.


For more infiormation or to book, please contact
Simon on 01297 561359 or scythes@myphone.coop

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Please see www.thescytheshop.co.uk/courses.html for more courses.
Why struggle?
Learn how to get your blades sharper and to scythe expertly at the

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Improvers' Masterclass
at the West Country Scythe Fair
Thorney Lakes, Muchelney, Langport, Somerset
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June
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a two day course for
• 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.

You will get personal attention from three of the most experienced teachers in the UK:
Christiane Laganda, scythe and yoga teacher from Austria;
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.

The cost is £125 for individuals, £150 for organizations, £90 concession for unwaged.
Meals are provided. Camping on site is available.


For more information or to book, please contact Simon on 01297 561359 or scythes@myphone.coop

Nicole Clough of Bucks Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust who did this course three years ago 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, with more booked on in the future. 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."