“Wassail” the New Year!

“Wassail” the New Year!

Published: 12 December 2017

Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust will be helping prepare the orchard at Cockington Country Park for the growing year to come with a “Wassail”, marking a tradition that has been held in the cider producing counties of England for hundreds of years.

The word Wassail comes from Old English ‘was hál’, meaning be hale, or well. Once a dying tradition, in more recent years the Wassail has seen a revival in villages and community orchards across the UK. Linked with Twelfth Night, “wassailers” help to scare off bad spirits, whilst pleasing the helpful tree spirits in order to ensure a good apple harvest for the coming year.

There will be entertainment throughout the evening from local Morris dancing sides Heather & Gorse and Grimspound Morris. Grimspound Morris will also be helping with the Wassail by providing traditional songs and leading the “blessing of the orchard”. Guests are asked to bring rattles, whistles, or even a good old wooden spoon and pan as noise makers for the Wassail!

Food is provided by regular South Devon event stalwarts the Pig Apple, who’ll be serving up their delicious cider-marinated, applewood-smoked West Country ‘pulled’ pork. And with cider and apple juice from a Devon-based company with a long tradition and heritage when it comes to apples, Hunts Cider, the evening promises to be a wonderful tribute to an age old tradition.

All funds raised by the event will go towards the Trust’s Cockington Green Heart Appeal that is restoring key heritage assets in Cockington for the benefit of the local community and visitors. This includes completing the Lakes restoration and helping to fund materials and staffing for educational school visits to the park over the next two years.

Join us on Friday 19th January at 6pm in Cockington Country Park for a great fun night for all the family (children 10 years plus)! Tickets are available to buy on the Trust website or from Occombe Farm reception (open Monday – Friday, 9am-4.30pm) and are £15 per person including food and a drink. 


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