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Jersey's cider orchards to be blessed in pagan ceremony

Credit: Picture by: Mike Groll / AP/Press Association Images

Jersey's cider orchards will be blessed today in a pagan ceremony dating back to the medieval times.

The National Trust and Jersey Heritage have organised the event which involves drinking hot mulled cider, banging pots and pans to ward of evil spirits, singing, dancing and hanging cider-soaked toast from apple trees.

The tradition is called 'Wassailing' and dates back centuries in England, when, in the dead of winter, villagers would stage ceremonies in the hopes of ensuring a good cider apple harvest the following year.

The name comes from the Old English salute 'Waes Hail', first used as a simple greeting.

The event will take place at Hamptonne Country Life Museum at 12pm. After the ceremony bread and cheese will be served in the Cider barn.

Morris dancing will take place at The Elms in St Mary at 2.30pm.

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Sick seal pup rescued from St Ouen and airlifted to hospital

Credit: The British Divers Marine Life Rescue

A grey seal pup was rescued from rocks on St Ouen beach in Jersey over the Christmas period.

Experts say the infant, thought to be more than three weeks old, was showing signs of being underweight and had bite wounds on her back.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue branch in the island decided to intervene after assessing the seal's chance of survival.

The female pup was captured and carried up La Pulente Beach in a special carrier and taken to New Era Veterinary Hospital in St Saviour.

The pup, named Elfina by rescuers, has since been transported to a specialist RSPCA hospital in the UK, where it has had treatment for its wounds.

Credit: The British Divers Marine Life Rescue

Planning application rejected for development at Les Blanche

A controversial development at Les Blanches St Martins in Guernsey has been rejected by planners at the Environment Department.

The proposals from Island Development Limited were initially supported by Guernsey’s Housing Department.

But the plans to build 37 new houses in the area sparked outrage by residents.

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