We had a great afternoon wassailing in our orchard space a few weeks ago.

An apple wassail is a traditional festival from the West Country, where you scare away the evil spirits from your orchard to encourage a good year’s harvest. There are traditional songs sung but it also includes making lots of noise, banging things, whistles (one tradition is to fire your gun in the sky!) The fruit rees are also decorated and hung with bread, and toasts (with cider traditionally, but we used mulled apple juice) are made to the health of the tree and their roots soaked with cider.

We had our very own Timebank Temptations leading the singing – many thanks to them for their help.

Fingers crossed for a great harvest!


Winter events at the NEA garden

Getting out in the garden in winter is really beneficial for mind, body and soul!

We’ve been continuing our regular gardening group on a Tuesday afternoon (1.30-4.30) with some extra winter events thrown in to keep us busy.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, 30th Jan

We spent an hour spotting what birdlife comes into the garden. We spotted

1 starling

1 wood pigeon

1 dunnock

1 robin

2 blackbirds

2 blue tits

2 carrion crows

9 house sparrows

and 36 feral pigeons!

Here’s a pic of the starling:


This week we have been enjoying a flock of waxwings using the garden – feeding on fruit left on the trees for that very purpose!

No pics of the waxwings as yet but they are gorgeous punky looking birds!