BBC’s ‘Poldark’ scything effect sees boost in interest

POLDARK star Aidan Turner famously made female viewers swoon by scything topless but his activities have also boosted the numbers of those wanting to learn more about the country craft.

Aidan Turner plays Poldark in the hit BBC period drama. Picture: PA

Bathed in sweat and swinging the hand tool wildly, the actor was criticised for his scything technique but some instructors from the national Scything Association have dubbed the renewed interest in the ancient mowing method – the “Poldark effect”.

Andrea Gilpin, 44, who runs courses in the Welsh borders area said the popular BBC television series, about the life and loves of the 18th century Cornish man Ross Poldark, had encouraged those thinking about learning the country activity to take it up.

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She said: “It was brilliant the way it got things going and people talking. What I hear is a lot of trainers did feel the news boosted interest.”

The 44-year-old added that the number of those joining her scything courses over the summer were up by about a third on a normal year.

“I normally do two course but did three, and I still had people on the waiting list, I could have run another,” she explained.

Ms Gilpin joked: “People who came on my course said ‘I will keep my shirt on’.”

The Prince of Wales is an advocate of scything and has tried his hand at the country activity at his Duchy Home Farm in Gloucestershire.