Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

Manx ploughmen invited to take part in contest

Manx ploughing at Cregneash (Pic: Manx National Heritage)
The contest will test a plougher's skill to create the best butt

Skilled ploughmen and their teams of working horses have been invited to compete in a ploughing match at the Isle of Man's National Folk Museum.

Ploughing matches were first promoted by the Society for Agriculture in the early 1800s on the island.

The events at Cregneash on 3 April will see entrants pitting their wits against one another to plough the best butt.

Andrew Metcalf, from Manx National Heritage, said it would be a great way to see traditional farming methods.

A hundred years ago horsemen were hired by farmers at the end of September to begin the cycle of traditional agricultural work.

Between autumn and Christmas the muck was spread and stubble fields were ploughed ready for sowing.

The ploughman was considered one of the most skilled of the farm workers and they took a great pride in the quality of their furrows, organisers of the contest said.

A butt is a small piece of land.

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