Revival of scything after Poldark’s shirtless scene

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PoldarK’s Aidan Turner made headline news when he appeared shirtless wielding a scythe in the series and now Leeds residents will have the chance to get hooked on scything themselves.

Helping Britain Blossom is running workshops on the traditional mowing tool which is undergoing a revival.

The course will help demonstrate the skill and how to use the scythe to manage garden lawns, grasslands and meadows, as part of Helping Britain Blossom’s work with communities in Leeds to create an “Orchard City”.

Those attending will also learn how to set up and safely sharpen the scythe.

The scythe’s growing popularity is because the tool is usually quicker than using a lawnmower or strimmer and there is no noise or pollution, making it more environmentally friendly.

The initiative is a partnership between Heineken and a project which has seen seven community orchards planted in Leeds last year.

Alan Thornton, Helping Britain Blossom’s Leeds project manager, said: “The ancient art of scything is making a comeback.

“Councils have started to use scythes and it’s becoming a social pastime with groups of people scything areas together.

“It’s a great alternative to the strimmer - quieter, cheaper, relaxing and provides a gentle upper body workout.

“And importantly for a country with unreliable weather, scythes can be used in wet weather.

“Like the other orcharding skills we teach, scything can be picked up by people of all ages, which makes it ideal for community orchards where we are all welcome.”

Steve Tomlin, the leading scythe teacher in Britain, will run the course on July 24 at West Park Fields, Northolme Crescent, Leeds, between 10am and 3.30pm.

And on August 31, there is another opportunity to try scything between 10am and 12pm at Luke’s Community Garden and Orchard, Stanks Lane North, Swarcliffe, after Luke Tilley, of the Killingbeck Community Project, has explained and demonstrated the basics of scything.

The course is open to anyone but places are limited, so those interested should book ahead by contacting Helping Britain Blossom on 07730 216943.

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