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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


These natives of the mountains of southern Europe have adopted so well to conditions in the UK that some regard them as a weed and an invasive species. They are remarkably resilient, tolerating pollution that would kill many trees, and even salty spray at the coast. As a result they are common street trees in urban settings, and as such support a significant amount of other wildlife. However, when planting, we should generally choose native species. Our indigenous oaks support 284 insect species, Sycamore just 15. Also, Sycamores don’t really need our help – their helicopter-like spinning seeds excel at distribution. Leeds City Council claims ambitious plans to double the city’s tree cover by 2050, planting 200,000 trees a year, to take the urban canopy to 33%. P.S. Remember, we are going to map Otley’s favourite trees – the ones that mean the most to us, and that we want to preserve and protect. Take a photo of your favourite, and send it to us at

By Neil Griffin Photos by Pixabay


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