AN OTLEY Morris dancing side is inviting local people to join them for a tradition that involves shouting at apple trees.

Wharfedale Wayzgoose will gather at various locations in the town on Saturday, January 5 to perform, drink cider and 'make a racket' as part of an ancient custom known as wassailing.

The event - intended to help ensure a good harvest of apples - will start at noon on The Chevin before moving down to the community garden at the top of Inglewood Drive, and then on to Gallows Hill Nature Reserve.

Anita Walker, a founding member of Wharfedale Wayzgoose, said: "People should expect lots of noise: singing, dancing and general rowdy behaviour.

"This may seem like a strange activity but it’s a lot of fun and a tradition that’s enjoyed by lots of people throughout the country at this time of year.

"As much as we like performing in public, we also take pride in maintaining traditions and that’s part of wassailing."

The word ‘wassail’ dates back to Anglo-Saxon times when the lord of the manor would address his congregation with 'Be Well', while they drank warmed cider or ale.

Wharfedale Wayzgoose celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2018 by holding a Day of Dance in ?Otley.

For more details about the mixed-gender dance troupe, which meets at Otley Methodist Church from 8.30pm to 10pm on Tuesdays, visit .