BRADFORD on Avon Preservation Trust have adopted the Anglo Saxon tradition as a family event - wassailing is the ancient custom of visiting apple orchards reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.

Hens Orchard next to the Tithe Barn in Bradford on Avon, a recently planted orchard, is the venue for the pagan ceremony to bring on the spring.

Wassailing involves singing and a lot of noisemaking to encourage a bountiful apple harvest. Children are asked to help by pouring cider on the roots and placing toast on the branches of the trees to attract “good spirits”, which appear as robins. Spectators will then be asked to make a big hullaballoo to scare off “evil spirits”, or bugs.

Bradford on Avon musician Nick Nicholls, who has organised the event on behalf of the Town’s Preservation Trust, is bringing in fellow musicians and organising a fire basket to give the evening a warm glow.

He said: "This is going to be a community fun event, a ceremony that at one time used to take place every year in orchards throughout the region. We are really looking forward to staging the wassailing at Bradford on Avon’s historic Tithe Barn

Wassailing next to Hens’ Orchard will be held on Saturday, February 3at 5pm.

Organisers hope people taking part will dress warmly, bring noisemakers and have a great time.