IT’S a tradition which dates back centuries and you’re all invited to take part.

Yes, wassailing returns to Bridport Community Orchard this weekend.

Before the celebration kicks off, the first work party of the year will take place at the orchard – which can be found off South Street, behind St Mary’s Church – from 10am on Sunday.

Jobs include tree pruning, general hedge maintenance, compost management, tidying the pond and reorganising water butts.

All are welcome to help out and refreshments will be provided.

Wassailing will shortly follow, starting at 3pm on Sunday.

The annual ancient 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.

The idea is to sing songs and dance around the trees to encourage a bumper apple harvest this autumn.

Hot cider and apple juice will be available and there will be an open fire to keep away the cold.

Again, all are welcome, and if you’re thinking of going you are encouraged to bring trumpets, whistles, drums and anything that will make a noise to ‘frighten away the bad spirits.’ The event is free.

The Bridport Community Orchard group AGM will take place at the town hall on Wednesday, January 23.

Doors will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Light refreshments will be available, accompanied by a slide show of the year at the orchard. All are welcome to the meeting.

Nominations for committee membership must be with secretary Paul Arthur at least seven days prior to the day of the meeting.

You can contact Mr Arthur on 01308 423817.

Following formal business, Rob Jayne will show a short film in which he has recorded highlights of a year at the the community orchard.

The next work party at the Jubilee Green site will take place on Sunday, January 27, from 10am.

It will involve a general tidy up and tree pruning.