Otley wants wildflower verges?

Otley in Bloom is asking the people of Otley, do you want the town verges to be made of wildflowers that look like this rather than just green grass?

The first town that took up this idea is Rotherham. They worked with a charity, Plantlife, to modify their mowing practice on a number of verges and spread local and brought-in wildflower seed to develop an amazing series of beautiful verges.

Working with Plantlife the team developed how to achieve this, ensuring good, safe sight-lines for cars while at the same time reducing the cost of mowing and providing better areas for insects to get access to a range of British wildflowers.  The mowing programme changes to an early mow in March/April to give the flowers a chance to grow ahead of the grass and then is not mowed again until late in August/September once the flowers have shed their seeds. 

If you want to know more about the details of how this is done then download this pdf from Plantlife.  The downside seems to be that the verges will not look like a lawn for a period and may look a little untidy.  The upside seems to be larger number of flowers for bees to work and better nature avenues for other animals.  Plus it is more colourful and lower cost.

If you want to share your views, please drop a note to our OIB Facebook page

The yellow bikes are moving on

The yellow bikes with flowers have been a big hit locally and nearly all have now found new homes. Some will still be seen around Otley – one will remain in a central spot as an Otley in Bloom ‘noticeboard’. One is being given as an anniversary present, one is being adopted by a Dutch bike enthusiast and one will travel Wakefield way for a September flower festival. Donations have been truly generous, to help keep Otley a well loved and cared for place to live and work. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

There are still a few yellow bikes waiting for adoption. If you are interested in one, please contact Katie at Courtyard Planters on Westgate (01943 462390).

Yellow bikes everywhere

We’ve installed yellow bikes with yellow boxes of yellow flowers all over Otley to welcome and celebrate the Tour de France Grand Depart on 5th July. You’ll have seen the finished results so we thought you’d like to see some photos of us setting them up. On 25th May we put them on the roundabouts, before the Summer bedding was planted by the Parks Dept.

And the finished result:

And here’s the one outside HSBC being set up by Ian and Ernie, before Jacquie and Charlotte fixed on the flower basket.