CIDER drinkers will raise a glass to the health of Herefordshire’s orchards when they go wassailing this weekend.

Silurian Border Morrismen will host a traditional wassail - an ancient English ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year - in Much Marcle on Saturday (Jan 5).

This year’s event will start at Westons Cider Visitor Centre at 6.30pm followed by dancing and a torchlight procession to nearby cider orchards.

After a traditional ceremony of singing and libations to the trees, there will be music and Mummers performed at The Slip Tavern.

“The poor apple crop this year needs addressing and fast,” said Ian Craigan, who will host the ceremony.

“We need plenty of people there to help with a ceremony that combines fire, poetry, weird gifts, ancient songs and lots of laughs.”

Entry is free, but donations raised on the night will be given to St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree.

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