Hand Powered

Traditional Land Based Skills

About us

Danny Hodgson

I have worked in practical conservation and land management since graduating with a degree in Countryside Conservation at Aberystwyth University in 2010. Over the years I have pursued my passion for the use of traditional hand tools in managing our landscapes for the future, seeing their value in connecting people to the areas in which they live, work and ultimately providing a viable alternative to the mechanised practices that have come to dominate our countryside. Over this time I have developed a broad skill set with various tool use and their maintenance.

I have a particular fascination with the scythe as a land management tool and the connection it provides the mower to the land. Following my first scything course in the Churnet valley in Staffordshire, on a sun-baked day in July with swallows sweeping in front of the mowers, I was instantly hooked! As soon as I started to feel the tool moving as it should, gliding through the grass in a rhythmic swing, I could instantly see the potential for this tool in sustainable land management and the positive impact it could make on the landscapes of today. Ever since that day, which was taught by Jez (the scythe) Hastings, I have dedicated myself to becoming a competent scythesman and scything instructor, working closely with Jez, and committing myself to learning just how powerful a tool the scythe is to reconnect people with the land.

I am also a qualified level 2 drystone waller and have worked from 2018 to 2022 on a Heritage lottery project coordinating teams of volunteer wallers in the South Pennines, Sheffield region.

I am based in Mid Wales and South Yorkshire but I am happy to work anywhere across the UK so please contact me to discuss options.

Helene Ducrotoy

Fascinated by humanity's impact and role in protecting the environment, I have volunteered and worked in a number of organisations that have the environment's best interests at heart.

After completing an Honours degree in Biological Sciences (Ecology) at the University of Edinburgh, I volunteered at a number of communities. The work I did on the Isle of Eigg set me on a path aimed at understanding the role of ecology, conservation and farming in our environment. I completed a PhD in the origins of agriculture in 2014 at the University of Aberystwyth and subsequently held various roles at the Open University, Cranfield University, the Youth Hostelling Association and the Environment Agency.

In 2019 I saw how much fun Danny was having teaching scything and other rural skills, so decided to get in on the fun. I apprenticed with Danny for a few years and he and I became a business partnership in 2022. I can confirm that the skills we teach are really enjoyable, and we've had lots of excellent feedback from customers over the years. If you'd like to add your own feedback (good or bad) please send us an email.


Tel: 07834240559

Email: hand.powered@yahoo.com

Copyright 2021 Danny Hodgson