In the olden days, rural folk and villagers across the apple-growing counties must have endured the short, cold days and long, cold nights of winter with gloom. What better way to drive that away than to create a ritual involving firelight, noise and cheery singing? And if there was cider involved so much the better. Wassailing, or giving thanks to the orchard, has a long and colourful history and we are happy to be part of its revival.

These days the wassail is less cider-centric, but even more fun. Our annual wassail will be led by Nigel Pennick and we will all follow, singing (or at least making a noise) as we go. Along the way we tie some toast dipped in apple juice in the branches of each tree. All this will protect the apple trees and encourage them to bear a bumper crop next year, so it’s essential arboriculture.

Turn up with a torch or a lantern, and enjoy some hot mulled apple juice. Wrap up warm and be prepared to sing. The event is free but donations to help the orchard and cover our costs are much appreciated. Children very welcome.

Please bear in mind there are no facilities on the orchard. Parking is on the adjacent streets – please park with consideration to our neighbours.

wassail 2015 22 A