Chair’s report for Otley in Bloom, 2019

We really have got stuck into some great project work over the past 12 months (in no particular order);

  • Starting the year with the big graffiti clean up
  • Replanting at Piper Lane hoardings
  • The dog poo sticker competition with schools
  • Displays at the Christmas Tree Festival and Flower Festival.
  • Cleaning out and repairing bird boxes
  • Improvements in Charles St car park and Courthouse St car park
  • Enhancements to the outside space at Union Court
  • Clean-up and bulb planting at Kell Beck
  • Improvements to the lawn at Gas Works Corner

When combined with all the usual ongoing tasks and winning a Silver Gilt for the town in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, it is an achievement not to be sniffed at.

The three pillars that “in Bloom” groups work within are: community involvement, environmental awareness and horticultural excellence, and all these projects fit well into these pillars. We have mainly taken on projects we have been asked to by residents, but perhaps next year we should set our own agenda?

We have a fabulous core of about 15 volunteers who I always find a delight to work with, often in small groups, or 1-2-1, so you get to know people, and that is lovely. Looking forward, the YIB judges comment that with a small team we might need to think a bit smarter about what we do and how we do it is turning around in my head.

As Otley in Bloom goes into its 20th anniversary year I’m looking forward to watching from the outside what the group chooses to focus its attention on, and it is a good excuse to have a critical think about what the volunteers in the group are interested in as Otley in Bloom is nothing without its wonderful people, and the world has moved on in the last 20 years so it is okay to change with it.

Katie Burnett …. signing off.

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