A COMMUNITY orchard is set for a bumper apple crop this year following a magical night-time ceremony.

Around 450 people attended the annual wassail at Frieze Hill Community Orchard, in Taunton, on Saturday.

The Lord of Misrule and the Wassail Princess and Prince poured cider onto the tree roots and put cider-soaked toast in the branches of trees to ensure a good harvest.

Highlights of the ancient tradition included singing, chanting and noise to wake up the trees to be fruitful this year.

As well as music from the Big Noise Street Band, there was a performance from the Taunton Thespian Mummers and a bonfire at the event, which has been staged since 2004.

Orchard chairman Margaret Gibson said: "It was hugely successful and is now a really important event in the Taunton calendar.

"The children who came really enjoyed the play, booing the baddies and hurrahing the goodies.

"Many of the people there with their children used to come when they were children themselves.

"The wassail does work because we always get a decent crop of apples.

"We have to thank all the volunteers, including the community group that looks after Netherclay Woodlands, Staplegrove Scouts and all those who took part."