03 Oct 2022

Celebrating Woodland Management Skills in Kilkenny

Community Workshops at Rathbeagh with the Acorn Project this Autumn

The Acorn Project

Members of the Acorn Project who are hosting a scything workshop in Rathbeagh, Kilkenny in August

The Acorn Project is encouraging the public to join them at 11am on August 27, in Rathbeagh, Ballyraggett for a Scything Workshop with scything expert Chris Hayes. This is the first in a series of unique meitheal workshops hosted by the Acorn Project over the autumn and winter months exploring traditional land management skills and their role in managing land for biodiversity including: scything, seed-saving, leaf mould, coppicing, tree planting and hedge laying.

Run as a meitheal, not only will people learn new skills they will also get the opportunity to come together as a community in supporting neighbours with work on the land. Meitheal is an old Irish term that describes how neighbours would come together collectively to assist in the saving of crops or in other tasks. This event is the Acorn Project's first meitheal and will take place at Rathbeagh in County Kilkenny. 

Whether you are a landowner, farmer or gardener, growing a wildflower meadow, have grassland near water or a heritage site or simply want to sustainably manage an area using scything, this workshop is an opportunity to learn more about the traditional skill. The Scything Workshop will cover how to set up the scythe and mowing technique, looking at the sharpening and maintenance of the scythe, discuss haymaking, wildflower meadow management and all types of vegetation. Scythes will be supplied for the workshop, but participants are also welcome to bring their own. Scythes will also be available for purchase on the day.

Rathbeagh, from the Irish Rathbeathach means the Rath of the birch-trees. It is located in an ancient valley once called Mágh Airgid Rois (The Plain of the Silver Wood). Situated on the banks of the Nore, Rathbeagh is home to the mound of Eireamhon, the burial place of one of Ireland's first high kings. Traditionally the Tumulus, or inner ring around the Rath was kept clear by the ancestors using scythes and slashers and  this event will see the restoration of this ancient practice.

The Acorn Project is a non-profit organisation working in forest school, community seed saving  and nature based learning programmes that empower communities to take action in ecological restoration through reconnection with their local wild spaces through forest school, nature connection and skills share.

Their vision encompasses a two thousand year project to restore the oak forests of this land, acorn by acorn and in doing so, also restore our human relationship with nature. They believe in community led action in ecological restoration. Over the seasons they aim to develop and grow community seed-saving and tree nursery projects, learning and wellbeing programmes and work collaboratively towards a larger rewilding programmes.


For details contact Maura on 0863104008 or book on lughnasadh-meitheal-scything- at-rathbeagh

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