Leeds Council has given Otley in Bloom and the Rotary Club of Otley, permission to plant a mixed range of wild flowers on the steep bank to the northwest of the Ilkley Road underpass this autumn. This will entail us stripping back small amounts of turf, turning it over and reseeding the exposed soil with Yorkshire native-type wildflower seeds. By turning the turf we will ensure that the existing plants are likely to survive along with these new wildflowers.
What we should see is a larger number of local flowering wildflowers during next summer and more bees and butterflies in the area for a longer period during the spring/summer/autumn. This will increase the area’s biodiversity.
The land is already under a “restricted mow” schedule so it tends to look a bit shaggy all of the time and has started to show a range of natural wildflower plants including Red Sorrel, Sticklewort, Yarrow, Red Clover, Fox and Cubs and Autumn Hawklot as well as a fair few different grasses.
To aid the mowers we will place a series of small blue hearts (to indicate the area of restricted mowing) and a small wooden sign “Mow only in March & October”. More details and photos will follow as the project progresses.
Any problems or concerns please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What has grown in 2022
The first thing to say is that the small wooden sign has been removed and replaced a few times, we guess by people who find it a bit intrusive. We will give it a break for a few weeks before trying to replace it. The blue hearts have been left alone. It is also worth noting that, to date, (10/5/22) Leeds council has not yet carried out the first mow of the bank which has given the grass a head start, mowing the bank requires special equipment as it is so steep.
However, we have seen some interesting things coming up.
This lovely little flower is Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis) also known as ‘lady’s smock,’ the pretty lilac flowers open around the time the cuckoo starts to call.
Just a note to record that Leeds mowed this bank on the 13 May 22.