CALL TO REWILD VERGES TO HELP THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
In Leeds, the council’s cross-party Climate Emergency Advisory Committee includes an ‘Open Forum,' to allow members of the public to contribute formally to the meeting. Wildlife Friendly Otley's Jane Smith has created a video report for the forum. It states the case for rewilding our verges and unused green spaces around town to improve biodiversity and create 'wildlife corridors' and how this can contribute to Leeds' plans for tackling the climate emergency. Thanks to Nic Shipp for technical help. Watch Jane's illuminating video report by clicking here.
WILDLIFE FRIENDLY OTLEY SUPPORTS BUILD BACK BETTER CAMPAIGN
On the 28th August, representatives from 30 local groups, including our own Chairman gathered in the town square to hand a petition to MP Alex Sobel to urge the governement to Build Back Better. Some have compared the current COVID crisis to the Second World War. Then, as now, it was widely agreed that there was no going back. This campaign asks us questions of those in power; how are we going to build our resilience to future pandemics and tackle the climate and environmental emergency already upon us.
WE CONTINUE TO INSPIRE THE ARTS
Check out this handcrafted woodpecker, who in the artist, Amy Panda's words "...has been made in support of the wonderful Wildlife Friendly Otley, and £4 from each sale of these will go to them," thats to us! So please be generous and support a fantastic local artist, whilst also supporting our work for wildlife.
The hanging woodpecker is available through Amy's website - here.
INSPIRED LOCAL ARTIST'S NEW PRINT
We absolutely love this print by local artist, Kate Broughton. We were delighted to play a small part in the creation of the artwork, which celebrates all the wonderful wildlife we have here in Otley. It showcases some wildlife highlights beautifully, you can hang one on your wall too, with each sale a Kate generously donates a percentage of the sale to us!
The print is available through Kate's website - here.
iWHARFE INVESTIGATES THE STATE OF OUR RIVER
On the 24th August a citizen science team called iWharfe and the Environment Agency will test the quality of the river water from the source to its end. The project is a partnership between Ilkley Clean River Group, Addingham Environment Agency and the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. And is supported by many others, including us! The testing will demonstrate the impact of combined sewage outlets on the river.
THREE PRONGED STRATEGY TO KEEP SPOTLIGHT ON WILDLIFE
We have launched three new intiatives to build on the increased interest in nature and local wildlife has experienced since the pandemic lockdown. Seen in Otley is our new regular bulletin posted on social media. We have also launched Ask the expert to help identify species that you don’t know, answer questions about where to see wildlife locally or how to make gardens more wildlife friendly. The third service is in response to some requests from members of the public about how to get help for injured birds and animals, you can find our wildlife rescue advise here.
For the full story, click here.
18 MONTHS OF PROGRESS
During lockdown we've had the time to produce our first Annual Report, charting progress since our launch in January 2019 until the end of March 2020. There have been many highlights but the biggest achievement has been to engage and inspire more people with the joys of wildlife and help them connect with nature so that they see how vital it is to value and protect our wildlife. Click on document to read in full.
SEEN IN OTLEY TODAY
Soon after the lockdown began Wildlife Friendly Otley started 'Seen In Otley Today' on social media - almost daily posts of different wildlife seen around the town. They rapidly became very popular with people all over Otley logging on to find out what they could spot on the daily walks or time in their gardens. We've collated some or all of them here for general interest. Hope you like them.
RETURN OF THE SCREAMING SWIFTS
Our sister project, the Otley Swift Watch featured in the Yorkshire Post supplement Rural Life. Click on the article on the left to read in full, it's fantastic coverage for our beloved Otley swifts.
Even though increased activity by wildlife is normal in springtime it appears that people are seeing birds, animals, bees, butterflies, insects and wildflowers where they haven’t been seen before, even in their own gardens.
YOUR WILDLIFE NEEDS YOU!
This year we are working hard to encourage everyone in town to pledge to help wildlife! We have ideas for individuals and families, businesses, community groups and schools. And, if you are already helping Otley's wildlife, please let us know what you're doing on social media by using #mywildlifepledge.
FAMILY PLEDGING TOGETHER
One family in Otley, the Barracloughs, are forging ahead by working through our suggested 'Individual and Family' pledge ideas.
They are the proud builders of the 5-star bug hotel, Bug'ingham Palace!
Check out more of their inspirational work #mywildlifepledge.
CO-OP FUNERAL CARE LEAD BUSINESSES IN PLEDGING
Rob Tindall of Co-Op Funeral Care in Otley has been leading by example for businesses. He has completed eight of our suggested pledge ideas for businesses already. Look at this lovely wildlife friendly pond!
Take a look at his good work #mywildlifepledge
OTLEY'S HEDGEHOG HIGHWAY
A perfect way to pledge is to sign up and become part of the hedgehog highway. We are collaborating with Otley's Maker Space to make it even easier for local people to help our hedgehogs. If you want to connect your garden to the highway, contact us and someone will come and make a passage for you!
For more information, see Pledge 8.
PROPER FOOD FOR DUCKS
We now have a presence by the river in Wharfemeadows Park in the form of a banner. The banner aims to inform people and families feeding the ducks and swans about what is good for them to eat.
Special duck and swan food is sold at Dodgshons, Parkgate Cafe and Petwise.
BEST CHRISTMAS TREE
We won the Best Dressed Christmas Tree accolade at last year's Christmas Tree Festival! Thank you to everyone who donated so generously and voted for us. Also, a special thank you to Sue Colman for creating the best decorations at the festival.
AWARD-WINNING BAKERY AND LOCAL ARTIST SHOW SUPPORT
Bondgate Bakery, makers of delicious baked goods, commissioned local artist Jane Tribillon (creator of the many fabulous shop window artworks around Otley) to paint this fantastic homage to our good work. For more examples of her art, see jennytribillon.com
Thanks for your support!
Our first ever social event was held on Saturday 29th February and was a great success. We filled the upstairs room at the Horse & Farrier with chatter about wildlife in Otley - taking a break only to munch on a slice of pizza or sip a drink. If you missed it, don't worry, we will be hosting another event in the near future.
GIG RAISES FUNDS
On 12th December last year, the fantastic C J Smith Band and Stolen Bows band donated their services to entertain a crowd in The Black Horse. It was the first event of this type for us and a great evening of fundraising!
Click on newsletters below to catch up on past news
Click on the press release below to read in full
Three pronged strategy to keep spotlight on wildlife 23 July 2020
Wildlife group campaigns to rewild Otley's verges 20 September 2020