Starting just before dawn at 5am, about a dozen folk wandered round the orchard listening to the birds waking up. 22 birds were recorded – including 2 Canada geese with 7 goslings on the wildlife ponds, and much to our leader’s joy – a rare Cetti’s warbler singing along the reed beds area. We didn’t actually see it, but even the song was beginning to be recognised by some of us by the end! The cuckoo was also heard, and other warblers, and the skylark overhead.
Welcome toast with homemade bread afterwards!
Why not join us next year – it’s a gentle stroll, and part of International Dawn Chorus Day at the start of May.
WASSAIL EVENING 2017…….. We got WET!
It was the first wet evening for weeks – after lots of crisp and clear! But it did not deter the faithful, and the Hartpury Green perry pear tree got it’s soaking of perry round the roots as well as the rain! Rob and Gillian came from May Hill and entertained us while we ate jacket potatoes and sausage and tomato casserole, and through the singing afterwards. Some of the youngsters hung the toast in the tree – which had all gone by the next morning!
As usual, a fun evening — so here’s to next year, when we hope lots more will come and the weather will be kinder!
WASSAIL — the traditional winter festival
FRIDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 7pm 2018
At our traditional festivities the Hartpury Green perry pear tree gets toast hung in the branches as a gift to the waking tree, perry poured round it’s roots to encourage a good crop, and everyone circles the tree three times, banging drums (and old saucepans etc.) and making a noise to waken the tree, start the sap rising, and ward off the evil spirits. The traditional Wassail toast and three cheers are given.
We have a new ‘Butler’ this year, who will lead the festivities – David Butler!
The festivities continue with hot food, cider and perry, and some community singing of traditional and folk songs. These are led by folk musicians Rob & Gillian Guest on pipe and tabor and hurdy gurdy.
SO……. wrap up warm, bring a torch and come and join in the fun! All very informal – come and go as you want.
Jim identifying pears at the Heritage Day. Many people came and enjoyed the sunshine.
51 varieties of perry pears picked from the orchard were on display – which was a good number as it was early in the season.
The PERRY PEARS go off next to be displayed at the Malvern Autumn Show – with some others from local orchards – so it’s hoped to get nearer to 70 different types.
Sunday 11th September 2016 …. part of National Heritage Open Days
Perry pear display – had over 50 varieties
Jim was on hand to identify.
Perry and cider made at the Orchard Centre was for sale
Folk wandered round the orchard, the perry pear trees, and the wetland area with the wildlife ponds.
Teas with delicious home-made cakes were at the centre.
A great FREE EVENT – watch for details of the 2017 day!
The National Collection of Perry Pears
In Praise of the Perry Pear – over 50 Varieties on display (crops permitting!)
EXPLORE the WILDLIFE WETLAND
modern and traditional fruit pressing…beekeepers and woodland crafts, rare breed animals – Gloucester cattle… Ryeland sheep
local foods….perry and cider…. countryside stalls and stands (including Gloucestershire Orchard Trust)
Bring Your Perry Pears For Identification