Racers hone scythe skills

The inaugural Great Scythe Race is set to be staged at Kew’s country garden in mid Sussex.

Staff at the 300-acre estate near Haywards Heath, which will host the event on July 19-20, are already practicing.

Wakehurst’s Conservation and Woodland Manager, Iain Parkinson, is honing his skills for the great scythe-off, which is central to a weekend Scything and Cider Festival as part of a summer celebrating Magical Meadows.

“There will be individual as well as team scything events over the two days of the festival,” said Iain, who expects a hotly contested competition.

“Large scythe plots have been prepared, close to the site of the UK Native Seed Hub (behind the Millennium Seed Bank), which could take anything up to 15 minutes to cut in the against-the-clock heats.”

The weekend event is aimed at the whole family and will include Punch and Judy, morris dancing, birds of prey displays, a roaming folk band, face painting, a green woodworking area plus artisan food and drink.

For more information visit www.kew.org/wakehurst or call 01444 894066.