Flow Orchard is holding a wassail on Sunday 22 January. The traditional event will begin with a gathering at Topsham Brewery, including warm-up wassail singing, before processing to Trews Weir orchard for a ceremony including apple juice and cider round an open fire.
More music and song will then follow at Topsham Brewery.
Attendees are invited to bring something to make a loud noise with, perhaps a saucepan and wooden spoon, as well as a torch and a mug for the wassail toast.
They should wear warm clothing and footwear suitable for muddy conditions.
Flow Orchard is a communal ribbon orchard of fruit, nuts and berries for insects, animals and humans which stretches through Riverside Valley Park from Exwick to the Double Locks public house.
The project, led by artist Anne Marie Culhane, was developed following River Exe flood relief works. It aims to support and encourage pollination by planting wild flowers and leaving grass to grow long.
A dedicated map marks the positions of the many varieties of trees growing along its three mile route and shows whether each produces fruits, nuts or berries and at what time of year.
Local volunteers help take care of the orchard, which now numbers around 200 trees.
Orchard wassailing has been practised in cider producing counties, including Devon, for many centuries. The first recorded mention is from 1585 in Kent.
The winter ceremony is believed to promote a good apple crop the following spring. The tradition has also been revived locally in Stoke Gabriel and Sandford.
The Flow Orchard wassail gathers at 3pm on Sunday 22 January at Topsham Brewery. A procession sets off for Trews Weir orchard at 4.30pm for a wassailing ceremony. Attendees are then invited to return to Topsham Brewery for more music and song.
The wassail band will meet to rehearse the preceding Monday 16 January at the City Gate Hotel. Singers are invited from 7.30pm and instrumentalists from 8.30pm. If you’d like to join them please contact [email protected].
For more information visit the Flow Orchard website or call 07791 161050.