Swaffham orchard visitors seek good harvests at Wassail ceremony

Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Arriving at the oldest tree in the orchard. ANL-160118-074254009
Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Arriving at the oldest tree in the orchard. ANL-160118-074254009
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Officials of a community orchard project opened the site to the public at the weekend as fundraising efforts to continue its work intensify.

Visitors to the Tumbler Hill site in Swaffham took part in a Wassail event, based on an ancient tradition of waking the trees in a bid to ensure a fruitful harvest, on Sunday.

Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Crowning the Queen, LtoR, Katy Fullilove and Mary Maxey-Miller ANL-160118-074343009

Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Crowning the Queen, LtoR, Katy Fullilove and Mary Maxey-Miller ANL-160118-074343009

Co-ordinator Katy Fullilove said: “It was brilliant. We had a really good turnout and couldn’t have asked for more.”

The event coincided with an ongoing Crowdfunder appeal to raise more than £5,000 for the project to continue its work to support people with a range of mental health, isolation and emotional problems.

Managers have warned they will have to make significant cuts to the support they provide without additional funding beyond the spring.

Around £1,800 has been raised so far for the campaign, which closes next Friday.

Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Lighting the torches for the parade ANL-160118-074325009

Swaefas Swale Wassail, Swaffham event,'Lighting the torches for the parade ANL-160118-074325009

Miss Fullilove said that, although the event was not held as a direct fundraiser, they did hope to attract further financial and volunteering support.

She said: “We’re pleased with the support we’ve had.”

The appeal is set to be further boosted by money raised during the Swaffham Lions’ annual world quiz at the Assembly Rooms next Thursday, January 28.

And an orchard care workshop will take place at the site on Sunday January 31, between 10am and 3pm.

To find out more about the appeal, or to make a donation, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/swaffham-allotment-and-orchard-project.