Jan 17 2020

Volunteers go a-wassailing at Langley Vale Wood

Wassail procession at Langley Vale Wood. Photo credit: Tish Johnson

On Sunday 12 January volunteers from Langley Vale Wood picked up their pots and pans, embellished their stakes and wooden pegs and went wassailing to scare away evil spirits and wake the orchard trees from their winter slumber.



Led by a Wassail King and Queen, a noisy procession made its way through Langley Vale Wood to the orchard where the group sang to bless the trees and hung toast to the branches in this traditional ritual.  In true Wassail style, glasses were raised, mead was drunk and apple pies were enjoyed by all.



Sue Wiltshire who is the lead volunteer at the orchard said: “This was such a fun event to organise and deliver, we hope it will become an annual calendar event at the wood.  Many of our volunteers have given their time and effort in caring for the fruit trees during their nursery years, it is great that we have had an opportunity to come together, have fun and celebrate our orchard.  I hope we were loud enough to scare the evil spirits and we will literally see the fruits of our labour at this year’s harvest.”


Despite the lovely weather on the day, lead volunteer Tish Johnson and a few others were tucked away under a gazebo pressing apples ready for the wassail toast:  “We had great fun at our first Wassail event at Langley Vale Wood.  I spent much of my time in the tent with our new apple presses. Kindly donated by Rayware in Liverpool and using Braeburn apples generously donated from Sainsbury’s.  The fresh juice was delicious was enjoyed by all the party goers.”


Apple pressing at Langley Vale Wood. Photo credit: Tish Johnson

Our sincere thanks go to Sainsbury’s for donating the wassail ingredients, Rayward in Liverpool for donating the traditional apples presses and of course to all the volunteerswho helped to organise and attend the event.  We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as the team enjoyed the day!


Here we come a-wassailing

Among the leaves so green

Here we come a-wandering

So fair to be seen.


Love and joy come to you

And to you your wassail too

And we wish you and send you

A Happy New Year

And we wish you a Happy New Year.


We are not daily beggars

That beg from door to door

But we are neighbours children

Whom you have seen before


Love and joy come to you

And to you your wassail too

And we wish you and send you

A Happy New Year

And we wish you a Happy New Year!


Hanging toast at Langley Vale Wood Wassail. Photo credit: Tish Johnson

The Wassail King, Queen and Princess.

Wassail pegs to hand toast. Photo credit: Tish Johnson


The Woodland Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods project is supported by lead partner Sainsbury’s. The retailer is helping the Woodland Trust to plant millions of native trees to commemorate the First World War through donations from sales of products including woodland eggs, chicken and turkey.

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