|Posted by Admin on February 10, 2015 at 4:45 PM|
The first wassailing day to be held in South East Essex for many years was a great success as more than 200 people joined Trust Links, the Southend-based mental health charity to celebrate their Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant at St Laurence Orchard in Eastwoodbury Lane.
The orchard was thronged with people, joining the procession through the trees led by storyteller and musician Kiti Theobald. Toasted bread was placed in the trees to encourage birds in to the orchard and traditional songs and exultations to the trees were sung to ensure a good crop in the autumn. Two new walnuts trees were planted too.
Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of Trust Links said 'It was fantastic to see so many people joining us at the St Laurence Orchard to revive the tradition of wassailing. With such a great start, the Heritage Lottery funded project can only be successful and I can't wait to see how our members, staff and volunteers at Growing Together can tend and nurture this vital green space and create a wonderful oasis and wildlife habitat. We are keen for local people to volunteer on our monthly working parties at the Orchard to learn new skills and meet like-minded people.’
St Laurence Orchard is an important area of bio-diversity. It is a last oasis of an old orchard planted just after World War 1. The Heritage Lottery Fund award will allow Trust Links members and volunteers to work to protect and improve the orchard environment, tending the trees and encouraging the wildlife.