Traditional grass maintenance skills spruce up community woodland

A dash of traditional meadow management has helped maintain a Ruthin community nature haven.

Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside Service has carried out a yesteryear climate friendly technique to manage land at Llanrhydd Street community woodland in line with its creation to help tackle climate change.

The former school field saw 800 trees planted on site earlier in the year as part of a continuing effort to reduce carbon emissions and improve biodiversity.

Alongside the trees, a wildflower meadow, native hedgerows, wildlife pond, outdoor classroom and recreational space were developed to support the environment and provide a community space for local residents to enjoy nature.

With the impact of climate change in mind, Countryside Rangers recently arranged a day of scything with volunteers to help maintain the area for the local community and its wildlife residents.

Scything has been tracked back to the Roman ages. The technique involves using a long curved blade situated on an angle to a handle to allow cutting grass by hand. This method would have helped harvest hay from Denbighshire meadows and pastures before the use of mechanical machinery became more widespread.

It is friendly to animals and insects that frequents meadow areas as it gives them time to move on and those working the chance to spot any wildlife.

Scything is also a greener way to manage grassland due to the technique’s  fuel free operation and better for physical use due to less hand vibration caused by modern machinery.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It’s fantastic to see this old technique used by our Countryside team and volunteers at this community site, as the non-use of fossil fuel for scything really fits in well with this area contributing to tackling climate change on behalf of the local community and nature.”