Is muscle or sun better than fossil fuel? Wimpole seems determined to prove so.

Scything in front of Wimpole Hall

Scything in front of Wimpole Hall

There are so many advantages of a scythe versus a motorized mower or strimmer (quieter, less soil compaction, cleaner, no fossil fuel required, no emissions, great exercise etc. etc.); it’s a beautiful and useful tool. But the main reason for choosing machines over manual is the premise that machines gets the job done quicker. Well, the team at Wimpole seem determined to prove this isn’t always the case. Check out their contests, organised by champion scyther and Forester, Simon Damant.

Man vs. Machine at Wimpole

Man vs. Machine at the Wimpole Scythe Festival

The man vs. machine contest especially proves that the idea that machines are quicker is a nonsense, if you have the right people behind it.  It’s also great entertainment and shows our visitors skills and tools from the past, often in danger of staying there.

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Head Gardener Philip Whaites using a Pellenc electric hedge trimmer

Sometimes though, we can’t use muscle alone, but there’s often a better choice than fossil fuel. For several years, Wimpole gardeners, led by Head Gardener Philip Whaites, have used Pellenc electric equipment including hedge trimmers and a tree pruner. These are charged using a solar photovoltaic panel. Again, they are very quiet so don’t disturb our visitors’ tranquil times around the garden. Also not as heavy as their fossil-fuelled equivalents – which keeps muscles going for longer – and no fumes. High quality kit but with miles of hedges to trim, Philip says it’s well worth it.

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The sun: growing the plants AND helping to trim them

For the moment anyway, we have to use fossil fuels sometimes but we should never stop questioning whether it’s the right thing to do or will even give the best result.

About Miranda Campbell

I am the Environmental Practices Adviser for the East of England region of the National Trust
This entry was posted in East of England, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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