Lynchmere’s Mark Allery is the scythe champion

Scythe champion Mark Allery
Scythe champion Mark Allery

PROVING the Grim Reaper isn’t the only one who can use a scythe, Mark Allery from Lynchmere has been judged the champion with an English scythe twice, both in Somerset and in Cambridgeshire.

The competition requires the man who wields the scythe to prove he is not only fast, but perfect, with 15-second time penalties for any imperfections.

A five-metre square has to be scythed as quickly as possible, with Mark achieving it in two minutes and six seconds with no penalties when competing in Somerset, and in two minutes and one second at Wimpole Hall.

He also cut a quarter acre in three hours, impressing onlookers with his skill and speed.

Mark gives lessons in scything and clearing areas of bramble with speed and accuracy, rolling the cut brambles into a ball as he works and then carrying them on his scythe to the bonfire.

He has demonstrated the hard work that has been put into cutting hay and harvesting for hundreds of years.

A tractor and mower may clear larger areas of ground more quickly, but with a scythe a man can clear out the corners or the areas round trees far better, as Mark has proved on Lynchmere Commons and in the orchard by Mere Barn.