Hedge trimming with a scythe

Today was one of the Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust’s regular workdays. One of the tasks on the agenda was trimming the hedge banks of the access track. The middle section of the track, already rather narrow, was beginning to worry car drivers with it’s luxorious growth of bracken, bramble, fern and saplings. 

 

Scythes Up!

Cue some rather unusual scything techniques. Standing with the hedge to our right, Phil and I used our scythes in an almost vertical plane to mow down the hedge bank. It was very effective, clearing overgrown vegetation quickly. The tough Styria blades we were using were capable of dealing with the odd small branch or saplings hidden in the vegetation. 

  The work became more comfortable when, after experimentation, Philip found an improved way of gripping the scythe. This meant there was less need to twist the body to keep the blade at the correct angle to the hedge bank. As can be seen in the pictures above, the left hand gripped around the snath, rather then on the left hand grip. The right hand held the stem of the right hand grip with the thumb close towards the grip itself. It was still not perfectly comfortable, but a vast improvement over trying to work whilst holding the hand grips in a conventional fashion.