Compared to the strimmer, there is much to be said in favour of the scythe. Strimmers are noisy beasts that are given to disturbing the wildlife and shattering the very peace that brings visitor and many a conservation volunteer to Gibside in the first place. Light, easy to carry, easy to use, the scythe requires no polluting carbon fuels, produces no noxious gases, nor leaves any environmentally damaging bits of itself behind – unlike the guilty strimmer.
|Scything in action|
With instruction from Gibside’s very own scythe enthusiast, John Grundy, we soon got into the swing of it and set off to hone our new skills cropping the grass along the edges of the ride by the Octagon Pond. We could choose to avoid destroying the rarer wild flowers, give frogs, toads and other creatures time to get out of the way, listen to the birds sing and even hold a conversation. I don’t remember John mentioning blisters, though but.