This year’s Northern Scythe Festival took place on a new site in the Forest of Bowland. The festival field was on a farm nestled up in the hills with great views out to the coast, including in the distance, Blackpool tower.
The participants who came were treated to unlimited quantities of lovely lush Lancashire grass to mow. The festival field, had been fertilised, then shut-up late on 14th May and by the 3rd July had seven weeks of dense lush grass growth (mainly ryegrass and clover). This provided a real contrast in mowing experience to the grass down south at Muchelney, and in the East where it is becoming increasingly dry and parched.
The grass, still wet from the previous days rain, was easy to cut, but he 5 x 5 times were 60% slower than those achieved in Somerset on account of the extra weight of grass that had to be moved with each swipe.
Good numbers of visitors came to the festival on the Saturday for guided tours in the meadow, hay time demonstrations, and scything.
The competition on the Sunday was quite a small affair with only 14 competitors. It was nonetheless a great competition – relaxed and fun, but with a determined competitive vibe. It was also a chance for Jim and Chris to compete (having been too busy to compete in Somerset).
|Richard Brown||02:35||8||1st Overall|
|Peter Blackwell||02:40||8||2nd Overall|
|Chris Riley||03:52||7||3rd Overall|
|Jim McVittie||04:35||6.5||1st Veterans|
|Shane O’Reilly||05:35||6.5||2nd Veterans|
|Norman Bush||10:19||8||Best Newcomer & 3rd Veteran|
|Sarah Robinson||13:47||9||1st Womens & Quality|
|Hannah Holden||08:52||4||2nd Womens|
|Jane O’Reilly||13:35||5||3rd Womens|
The ceramic trophy cups and medals were created by Sarah Robinson – who won two herself!
The Festival was hosted by Helen (pictured right mowing a 5 x 5 ) at the appropriately named ‘Gathering Fields’ – see also photo details below.
..and finally I would like to raise a toast to “the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat” who entered the competition – in Peters 5 x 5 plot to be precise -without whom I may not have been victorious!