The successful environmental project ‘Don’t Mow, Let It Grow’ educated local volunteers in Ballymoney recently on how to manage a meadow using an Austrian scythe.
Scything is a traditional hay meadow cutting technique perfect for meadows and areas that are trickier to manage with modern machinery.
Neil Foulkes expertly guided the volunteers in a training session focusing on the skill and art of scything. The group learnt how to set up, sharpen and maintain the scythe, along with safe use and correct cutting techniques.
Causeway Coast and Glen’s biodiversity officer Rachel Bain, who leads the ‘Don’t Mow Let It Grow’ initiative, said: “As part of the project we are managing several areas of grassland as traditional hay meadows, allowing our native wildflowers and pollinators to flourish. It was fantastic to have Neil share his knowledge and experience with our volunteers in Ballymoney Riverside Park. As a group we got half the meadow cut and the grass raked off, just in time for this year’s flowers to grow.”
Don’t’ Mow, Let It Grow’ is managed by Causeway Coast and Glens District Council in conjunction with DFI Roads and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.