May is such a great time around Otley to carry out the first big clean up after the late winter weather. Recently we have been out dead-heading daffodils in the Barrier planters and the rose bed of the Firestation. Litter picking of the garden at Bremner Street opposite Asda has to be done. The amazing Nectar beds close to the Prince Henry’s crossing needed 4 large bags of weeds to be taken out of it and clearing Myers beck of Balsam to minimise flooding in the winter on such a lovely warm day made sinking into the mud in wellies a real pleasure. Why not come along and help out, just watch Facebook for the next project. https://www.facebook.com/Otleyinbloom
Charles Street car park is normally a very busy space with just a few green areas. We have tried to maintain a planted area here over the years but with cars parking on it and some over large plants in the area it has always struggled. So we litter picked the whole car park and then cleared the bed, prior to laying down a weed maintenance cloth covered with a lot of street leaf litter which we cleared from nearby street. New plantings and some yellow stones to ward off cars may keep the area nice in 2022.
With YiB unable to attend Otley to carry out a full review of the place this year, under Covid, things have been a little different. However, thanks to the work of our excellent treasurer, we managed to win two awards.
These were for our litter clearing projects back at the start of the year and our on going work to support pollinators, wildplants and animals.
During the dull early months of 2021 with the country placed under lockdown it became apparent that the Otley bypass verges were filling up with litter. It was even discussed in Otley-Our-Town. A lot of individuals tried to tidy up (thanks guys) but the bypass is roughly 1 km long with verges up to 10 metres wide on both sides. For those interested in these things, that’s getting on for 2 hectares or 5 acres covered in scraggly bush.
OiB reported it to Leeds City Council and offered to help the team there do a litter-pick. Leeds CC decided to do it themselves (according to some, up to 56 bags were removed) and after they’d done their best OiB did a check round and picked another 14 bags of “stuff” off the road. We’ve checked with Otley Town Council since then and they say it’s down to the public to report this sort of mess. Which solves the mystery as to why it had been left to get in such a state – presumably, no one reported it. So if you see litter just go to the appropriate Leeds CC webpage and fill in the form. You don’t even have to give your name. Thanks to everyone who did what they could.
We would not recommend that people litterpick this road themselves, given the steepness of the verges and the 60mph speed limit. The majority of drivers are sensible but, as in life, there are some pratts.
Just before the coronavirus lockdown number 3 we managed to fit in a 4 person socially-distanced litter-pick on the east end of West Busk Lane. Not the nicest job and it was pretty cold when we started, but by the end, everything was toasty.