Nature Notes for June



“Make hay while the sun shines” using an Austrian scythe and a wooden hand- operated hay baler, especially useful for making bales on small areas of land such as churchyards, burial grounds, orchards and small meadows.

Caring for God’s Acre, the charity with HRH The Prince of Wales as its President, encourages the management of churchyards for conservation and suggests using a scythe to mow the flower-rich grassland, which is often found in old churchyards. Scything and then making hay bales by hand is good for the environment as well as being good for body and soul.


An Austrian scythe is lightweight and easily adjusted to fit people’s various shapes and sizes and Sue Cooper of Caring for God’s Acre says “Scything is a lovely thing to learn – it’s meditative, calming and keeps a traditional skill alive”.

After making the hay, next comes baling and the hand operated ‘holy hay’ baler produces small, firm bales which can be sold to help much needed church or parish funds. It’s also a cooperative and fun activity, as is scything. So why not give it a try. See the baler in action on Caring for God’s Acre website

Caring for God's Acre was set up as a charity in 2000. It champions the conservation of burial sites of all kinds, seeking grants to develop special projects which help deliver its work. It is a membership charity, which individuals and community groups are welcome to join. There is a helpful website at providing useful information on conservation management and the charity's activities.

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