Scythes & the Scythe Association of Britain & Ireland (SABI)

I have been keen on scythes for some years and while working for the National Trust I took advantage of the fact that the best scythesman in the UK was the head countryside ranger at Wimpole Hall in Cambridge. If I was going to learn from anyone, it might as well be the best.

I spent a couple of days down on the Wimpole estate learning with Simon Damant and have since passed on my skills to volunteers and staff at several other National Trust properties.

Gibside in county Durham, where historical records make mention of gardeners using scythes in the Georgian landsape garden. 

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, Cookham Common/Runnymede/Clivedon properties in Buckinghamshire and The Vyne in Hampshire. 

The staff and volunteers have all enjoyed the experience and at some properties they bought scythes and have been using them for some of the grassland management. Using scythes is quiet and pleasing for visitors to watch. People using scythes can chat with each other while they work and enjoy the sounds of birds and wildlife around them. I'm sure most gardeners would benefit from their use in many ways,  not least in cost. There is even a possibility to make some money from the cut hay as bedding and fodder for livestock.

Watch the video on the next page to see me in action and read some of the other benefits to using scythes as opposed to petrol powered strimmers or mowers. The gallery shows some images of me and volunteers around the country getting to grips with Austrian technology.

Austrian scythes are available from Simon Fairlie at the scythe shop

To find out more about SABI please visit the scythe association of Britain & Ireland

Hold your mouse over the images to see captions.

To get in touch please phone 07827 958361 or e-mail

Wilderness Tamed John Grundy