WHO WE ARE
Established in October 2018, Wildlife Friendly Otley is a small charity working hard with the people, businesses and schools of Otley and other local nature and environmental groups to make Otley the first 'wildlife friendly town' in the UK.
Public interest in nature is high but British wildlife has declined by more than half in the last 40-50 years and is under continuous threat.
By declaring Otley as the first wildlife friendly town, we can set an example of how towns can be rich in nature and wildlife; whilst giving nature a helping hand and making Otley an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Wildlife Friendly Otley is now a charity registered with the Charities Commission and our objects are:
To promote for the benefit of the public the conservation of the wildlife and wildlife habitats and protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of Otley and the surrounding area.
To advance the education and appreciation of the public regarding the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment,
What we do
Encourage individuals, families, schools and local organisations to become more wildlife friendly.
Celebrate and raise awareness of Otley's rich natural environment and the need to protect it.
Promote Otley as the first wildlife friendly town.
Increase participation in local wildlife organisations.
Campaign for more measures to protect and enhance wildlife and habitats in and around town.
Meet our Trustees
I’ve always taken a keen interest
in wildlife and the countryside and it’s really good to be able to learn more by being part of WFO. I enjoy taking part in the events that we run as it’s interesting to hear what concerns local people
have about our wildlife and I also like helping out with practical projects such as the recent orchard planting.
I joined WFO through the contrasting emotions of love for wildlife and fear of the biodiversity crisis. As a teacher I'm particularly keen to engage the younger generation with nature, just as I got that rewarding connection with wildlife as a seven year old. It's great to work as part of a team with a variety of talents, all working towards the same important goal.
I became a member during lockdown. I needed a positive distraction from working hard in the NHS and was drawn to working with wildlife. I specifically chose a small, local charity as in my opinion, this is where some of the most meaningful work happens. I particularly like working with people and you’ll most likely see me on stalls, at events or supporting some activities in schools.
In the beginning, my drive to create Wildlife Friendly Otley was informed by my frustration with the national conservation charities continued growth whilst wildlife was still declining. I strongly belief the local approach to conservation Wildlife Friendly Otley represents is the most effective way we can make a difference.
The idea that Otley could be the UK's first 'Wildlife Friendly Town' provided the incentive to see if we could create something that would inspire others to be wildlife friendly and do something for nature at a local community level that would make a difference.
I've worked as an ecologist for many years and was keen to put my skills to good use in the local area. I saw the action that Wildlife Friendly Otley was taking to directly address the biodiversity crisis and wanted to be a part of it. I can often be found making wildlife habitats and leading minibeast walks.
I am a huge wildlife fan and I
worked with WFO to help make
the garden where I work more
wildlife friendly. By becoming a
trustee it means I can be that bit
more involved in really making a
difference in the town of Otley.
I started helping out with publicity and community engagement back in 2019. More recently I've been supporting WFO's work on community orchards and habitat restoration. These sorts of projects are so important for nature recovery on a local and national scale - it's great to be part of a small team making a big difference to wildlife and to people.
I’m passionate about reversing the rapid decline of our biodiversity. We have lost more than half of our wildlife, and urgently need to restore and create as much habitat as possible. We are trying to change the way our green spaces in Otley are managed by planting community orchards, restoring habitat, reducing the use of herbicides, pesticides and helping our community to support its flora and fauna.