MISTLETOE is the seasonal theme in Colwall next weekend with a chance to find out more about this fascinating plant and buy some to decorate your home for Christmas.

Colwall Orchard Group is holding a mistletoe training day on Friday, December 11, which will include everything for finding out about the myths and legends surrounding mistletoe, to hands-on experience of sustainable mistletoe management.

Tim Dixon of the group said: “Mistletoe is a much misunderstood plant, bound up in myths and legends, supporting rare and fascinating wildlife, but if left unmanaged, threatening the survival of old orchard trees.

"We are running this event to help sift the fact from the fiction and teach people how to manage mistletoe sustainably to look after the trees, the mistletoe and its rare wildlife.”

The training day is aimed at orchard owners, orchard managers and any members of the public who might be interested in learning more and joining our group of active volunteers. It will be held at Colwall Community Orchard, and will include a practical mistletoe pruning session in a nearby orchard.

Bring sturdy footwear, clothing appropriate for the weather and a packed lunch. Other refreshments will be provided. There is a small fee of £5 to cover costs.

To book a place, contact 01684 540569, colwallorchardgroup,org/events or members@colwallorchardgroup.org.

And the next day, the orchard group is holding its mistletoe walk and fair.

The walk starts at the railway station car park at 9am, and visits the orchards where mistletoe can be seen growing on the trees. The fair is outside the Colwall Park Hotel at 9.30am.

Orchard group members will be selling mistletoe in decorated bunches of various sizes, as well berried holly and fir cones.

Mr Dixon said: "We harvest mistletoe sustainably as part of our winter tree rescue programme around the village orchards. We know people can easily scrump mistletoe around here, so we are always really touched to find that people come to buy our mistletoe to support our work in the orchards."

The fair is also a chance to stock up on apple juice, preserves and other gifts, all handmade by group members.

Helen Stace, founder of the group, said: “We make our preserves from orchard fruit around the village. Our range varies according to the harvest, so we have lots of blackcurrant jam this year, as well as our ever-popular hedgerow jam and medlar jelly to go with the Christmas cold meats. Cider vinegar is new this year.”