Folk singers and dancers invited to join wassailing at The Donkey Sanctuary

Apple trees at Knapp Nature Reserve orchard

Apple trees at Knapp Nature Reserve orchard - Credit: Archant

The ancient ceremony of blessing the apple trees will be replaced by pruning, but there will be traditional wassail-style entertainment

APPLE trees are being planted along the Tarka Trail.

APPLE trees are being planted along the Tarka Trail. - Credit: Archant

A traditional celebration of Wassailing Day, on Thursday January 17, is to take place at The Donkey Sanctuary – and local residents are invited to join in.

Wassailing is an ancient ceremony of blessing apple trees, in the hope of ensuring a good harvest in the autumn.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s conservation team will be pruning the trees in its cider apple orchard at Slade House Farm to keep them healthy, under the guidance of a fruit farmer. Local people are invited to come and help, and enjoy traditional wassail-style entertainment at lunchtime.

Barney Brown from the conservation team said he was hoping a folk musician and storyteller would be coming along, but he would like to hear from any other musicians or folk dancers who would be interested in joining them.

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Anyone wanting to help with the pruning should bring a packed lunch; tea and coffee will be provided. Wear sturdy shoes and suitable outdoor clothing. To book a place email or call Daniel Brown on 01395 573162

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