Tag Archives: Featured

Wassail Bourne Community Orchard 2018

The Friends of Bourne Wood held their second Wassail in the community orchard in Bourne on Saturday in conjunction with Bourne Borderers Morris.  A Wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest of last year, to reawaken the trees, and to encourage them to bear fruit this year.  The rain had cleared by the time the event started at 4.30pm and a crowd of around 80 people had gathered to join in the celebration.  Richard Jefferson welcomed everyone to the event, and then Bourne Borderers commenced the proceedings with a traditional Morris dance.  Those attending were then offered a taste of either mulled cider or apple juice and some cake, before everyone sung the ‘Apple Tree Wassail’.

wassail queen leads the parade
The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, led by Emily, the Wassail Queen, the way being lit with lots of candles.

The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, led by Emily, the Wassail Queen, the way being lit with lots of candles.  The trees were blessed with cider, and toast was placed in the branches for the robins, by anyone wishing to take part, while Vaughan Roberts played his violin.   The trees were wassailed, with the customary poem, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering!

Once back on the hard-standing the Borderers danced again, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’.  The evening ended with the Mummers play.

bourne borders dance
The Bourne Borderers danced again, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’.

The Friends would like to thank everyone for supporting this event, and especially Bourne Borderers for their help and support, and all those who provided cakes and helped out on the day.

Photographs thanks to Steve Goddard.

Bourne Wood Booklet – Review By Dr Keith Porter

Bourne Wood: A portrayal of a wood in Kesteven. This A5 full colour booklet provides an insight into the history, natural history and forestry management of Bourne Wood, an ancient woodland in south Lincolnshire. Its contribution to nature conservation and local amenity are also outlined. Dr Keith Porter, Deputy Chief Scientist at Natural England, reviews the booklet:

Bourne Wood: A Portrayal Of A Wood In Kesteven

This attractively produced booklet is a must for anyone visiting Bourne Wood in Lincolnshire.  It packs in everything you need to understand its history from 1086 to the present day and the wildlife and facilities that the Wood offers to visitors.  The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood offers a taster of what you can see throughout the year and provides a fully detailed list of recorded species at the end of the booklet.

greater spotted woodpacker
The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood.

For visitors, it gives clear detail on parking, footpaths and facilities and includes everything you need to know for an exciting day out in the wild!  This is an excellent guide to a place that is easily accessible to people from nearby Bourne and further afield – highly recommended and great value.

Hard copies of the booklet are priced at £3 + p & p and can be obtained by e-mailing rjeffegj@yahoo.co.uk; or download low resolution pdf here.


Weaving Willow Sculptures – Nicola McLean

Weaving willow sculptures in Bourne Community Orchard over the past ten days has proved to be the perfect ‘office’, (as described by my visitors) the perfect setting for this kind of creativity.

Many people have asked me how I began weaving; It all started back in 2008, having graduated with a 2:1 Fine Art Degree from Anglia Ruskin University in 2006. I was awarded a commission, after putting in a proposal to Lincoln County Council, to create a twelve foot standing willow figure.

The Lincolnshire Heritage site near Bardney, hosts the ruins of Tupholme Abbey, home to the white gowned Premonstratensian monks from 1100 to the 1500s. By the moat where residents would have fished for carp and eel, standing almost camouflage against the gnarled willows which line the banks, visitors start at his sudden presence, as they walk across the footbridge

Prior to this, I had just completed a two week solo exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery, by the castle in Drury Lane, Lincoln. I felt tremendously proud that my large canvasses adorned every wall and my sculptures were displayed in the spacious room. The show was the result of a two year body of work which explored a theme which inspires me greatly. Entitled ‘Between Worlds’ I had produced visual thoughts and ideas, feelings, atmospheres, both representational and abstract about aspects of spiritual ancestral beliefs and our beautiful natural world.

Carvings of oak and stone, displayed on the floor, and a suspended installation, called ‘Ancient forest’ of restored and beautified bog oaks hung from the beams. Few people realise that such bog oak findings may predate Stonehenge! I was in my absolute element and imagine my delight when I saw my name and show title advertised in the Guardian listings, with an eloquent description kindly written by a Sam Scorer Treasurer Peter Moss. www.samscorer.

More recently I had been asked to sell willow pieces at a Spring Fair Hester Cresswell was holding at her newly renovated chapel in
Haconby. (Open every Friday to purchase many sumptuous items of furniture, accessories for home and garden, including smaller willow creations) Whilst working on a stag in Somerset, in a field with a beautiful view of Glastonbury Tor, the organiser of the Healing Field at Glastonbury Festival visited and asked if I would produce a willow sculpture garden in the ‘air space’.

I was elated, needless to say I have been walking on air ever since, strange too as several years before I had formed a list of things I wished ‘to do’ before I turned fifty, one of the things on there was to do an Art Installation at Glastonbury Festival.

This brings me to a few weeks ago, when I was stuck for space to work on this willow body of work. I chatted to our Bourne’s lovely Willie McLaughlin’s wife and she had spoken to Willie who said to approach Sarah Roberts. I did rather nervously enter the orchard and approached the lovely Jayne who was so friendly and helpful. She then forwarded my request to Sarah Roberts.

Thanks to Sarah, and her lovely ma and pa, I have been so happy in residency there in the orchard surrounded by hundreds of magnificent tall Ash trees, hearing cuckoo call, watching the swarms take off to their new hives, peaceful and productive. Boxing hare, who look like they are doing the tango, doe and her stag who is yet to be completed have all materialised. I can honestly boast, as seen at Glastofest too…

Thanks to my lovely visitors, Angela Adams and her gift of honey, Bob who enlightened me of a interesting geography website, he took a photo of me making the boxing hare for his grid reference. the lovely Goff leggitts, Sally Pepper and loads of other lovely folk.

Surprisingly, I did discover many towns folk are still unaware of the Orchards existence, what a pity for them. Our Community is very privileged to have this place of beauty to visit, enjoy, relax and contemplate in. I am sure you will see me lending a hand or sculpting again here in the future, what an achievement Friends of Bourne Wood, what a joyful legacy you have made and tend still.

Words by Nicola McLean

To view Tupholme Abbey willow man, Sam Scorer Exhibition as mentioned visit www.nickimclean.co.uk or e-mail nicola.mclean@live.co.uk for commission queries.