IbN # 3 - Emil Førby
If you are interested in reading up on scything then you can of cause find some good info through wikipedia or visit a few pages from groups who are actively involved in the bringing back scything.
Scythe Association (UK)
There are even scythe competitions going on in some places!
"You can use it (the scythe) to make your own wild little grassland with more species than the common lawn has, because the common lawn is quite dull. It has maybe two or three species of grass and a daffodil if you are unlucky".
On this episode I have been so lucky to get a visit from Emil Førby, who is a MSc Biology student at the University of Copenhagen.
This episode might be slightly different from other episodes in that we are not discussing already established projects or research. Instead, we are turning our focus towards the genuine interests and hobbies of future generations and how they plan to take care of our environment and nature.
When I first talked to Emil, one of the things he said was "I do a lot of things, a little bit" meaning Emil is a guy with many interests when it comes to biology. From flora analysis through his part time work, actively participating in conferences and debates and volunteering within nature organisations. All of this whilst having his main focus aimed at the areas of nature management and nature restoration which leads us to one of Emil's hobbies: Scything.
If you are not completely familiar with scything then a scythe is an old handheld mowing tool used for harvesting in the fields or for maintaining big meadows. Since the introduction of more efficient machines, a scythe is probably best known today as the iconic equipment belonging to Death or the Grim Reaper when he comes to collect his victims.
Nevertheless, scything is a hobby for Emil for many reasons, one of them being that it increases the biodiversity in the area where you are scything - as Emil puts it then "biodiversity is fantastic! It spices life up". Listen to this episode as Emil explains how scything is a physically challenging but social hobby that also has a big effect on nature management. Despite what many people might think, scything is not only applicable for large areas, but as Emil explains it, can also be utilised in your very own back garden to increase the flora and fauna that is normally cut away from our neatly mown green patches of grass.
If you live in the Copenhagen area and think this is an interesting subject then you should definitely check out the initiative called 'Vild Med Vilje' (Wilfully Wild) that aims to create small patches in the city bursting with biodiversity by using the scythe.
And if you happen to have become really curious about trying out scything, then I am sure you can find groups near you where you can give it a go!
Listen. Learn. Explore.
Emil re-introduces us to the forgotten craft of scything and explains why it is not only a physical and social hobby to get into but also very useful if you want to increase the biodiversity in certain areas.
E P I S O D E 3