Scythe cuts it fine at church

Scything at Hatley St George churchyard
Scything at Hatley St George churchyard

Meadow grass at Hatley St George churchyard was cut in a traditional way when Alastair Hobbs from Everton mowed it with his scythe. This traditional method of cutting grass and harvesting fields has been around for centuries and has recently enjoyed a resurgence of interest since the famous scene in BBC’s adaptation of Poldark showed a shirtless Ross Poldark mowing his meadow with a scythe.

Light rain fell on the day, but the scythe is an all-weather tool and the damp helps with the cutting process.

July is traditionally the time for a main cut of meadows and this was usually followed by an autumn cut around September, or sheep were put on the area to graze it. The cut grass is left to dry for a week, to let seed drop back into the meadow before clearing it away or making it into hay bales.

Management of meadows by mowing is essential to maintain the structure, balance and diversity of the grassland. Alastair has been mowing for several years and uses an Austrian style scythe. He puts his skill to use at many places, including Wimpole Hall.

If you’d like to be involved with the management of the meadow at Hatley St George church, including identifying wildflower species and other wildlife, contact Philippa Pearson at hatleychurch@gmail.com