AROUND 400 people took part in an ancient ceremony to ward off evil spirits and guarantee a bumper apple crop.

Scores of families enjoyed the free wassail event at Frieze Hill Community Orchard, in Taunton, on Saturday.

The entertainment included a mummers play enacted by Taunton Deane Thespian Mummers, written and directed by Doma Bullion, who also made the costumes.

Music was provided by the Big Noise Street Band, while the Green Man and the Lord of Misrule, Mike Leach, who performed the wassail ceremony with the princess, Kirsty Harrison, also proved popular.

Organiser Margaret Gibson said: "A good time was had by all and it was great to see so many youngsters running around enjoying themselves.

"The bonfire was very popular and people were enjoying the bacon rolls and mulled cider.

"We'd like to thank everybody for making it so successful and hopefully we'll have lots of apples this year."