This quite small site was perfectly suited to the eight volunteers who assembled today. We were happy to welcome a new young lady who is working towards her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and her parents who accompanied her.
Today’s job was to cut the long summer wildflowers that had now ‘gone over’. These were in a ditch area that had been inaccessible to the large mower that had cut the rest of the meadow. Also we cut the along the inside of the hedging bordering the site. The tops were to be cut later by a local farmer. After our usual safety and tools talk we set about our work in lovely warm summer weather.
One of our team, Carl, had just the previous Sunday been on a scythe training course. Fresh from receiving this expert tuition he, accompanied by Sophie, set up two of our Austrian scythes and put them to good use on cutting within the ditch area. Later in the day they were able to show some others who were interested how to use the scythes. We discovered that our scythes are for people who scythe anti-clockwise (right-handed). Two people who were interested in trying the scything were left-handed and thus would have needed a clockwise cutting scythe. However Michelle who is left-handed, after having given it a go found she could scythe using the anti-clockwise (right-handed) set-up.
At our 11.30 mid-morning break we were very kindly treated by our hosts to a choice of two delicious cakes, a Victoria sponge and an apple cake. I didn’t even open the biscuits I’d bought!
By 1pm we were all finished. We’d formed a large pile of all that we’d raked up at one end of the meadow. It was felt there might have been a danger of heat building up in one large pile and potentially igniting in the summer dry and heat so we spread the pile out into two smaller lines.
With good appetites built we finally sat and had our lunches under the shade of some trees.