IT MAY be winter but there’s lots going on in the community orchard this January.

The first work party of the year takes place on Sunday, January 14. Work starts at 10 am, and jobs will include tree pruning, grass cutting, collecting of hops for mulching, and the tidying of the pond. All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

Then, on Sunday, 21, the ancient annual Wassail celebration returns.

The fun starts at 3 pm, and the traditional Wassailing ceremony will be led by local storyteller, Martin Maudsley. There will also be musical entertainment provided by Wyld Morris, and everybody can join in singing songs and dancing around the trees, all of which will encourage a bumper apple harvest in the autumn. Hot cider and apple juice will be available, and there will be an open fire to keep the cold at bay. 

People are asked to take along trumpets, whistles, drums, and anything that will make a noise to frighten away the bad spirits. The event is free and open to everybody.

Finally, on Wednesday, January 24, the Bridport Community Orchard Group AGM will take place at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.

Doors will be open from 7pm when light refreshments will be available, accompanied by a slide show of the year in the orchard. 

Nominations for Committee Membership must be with the Secretary, Paul Arthur, at least seven days prior to the day of the meeting. Call 01308 423817. 

Following the formal business, Jim Binning, the resident orchard beekeeper, will be the guest speaker and will be talking about beekeeping in general, and in particular his management of our orchard bees.

The orchard can be found off South Street, behind St Mary’s Church.