We counted the birds at Myers Croft Beck, Craven Street, Bremner Street and the Memorial Garden, all patches of land we have worked on, on 30th-31st Jan, a very cold, rainy weekend. We didn’t see any birds at Bremner Street. At Craven Street we saw 2 blue tits, 2 woodpigeons and 3 blackbirds in an hour. At Myers Croft Beck, near the entrance to the allotments, we saw 9 blackbirds, 3 blue tits, 1 sparrow, 2 magpies, 1 robin, 3 woodpigeons, 1 crow and 1 wren in an hour. At the Memorial Garden, 5 blackbirds, 1 sparrow and 3 pigeons were spotted. There are more birds in these little overlooked scraps of land than you might think, particularly blackbirds which seem to be everywhere.
We also counted birds in our gardens, and between us spotted 14 different species, including a pheasant, lots of blackbirds and pigeons, and most of the other common garden birds.
It’s the Big Garden Birdwatch on 30th-31st January. Organised by the RSPB, the idea is to count the wild birds that land in your garden or a local park for one hour on the 30th or 31st January. There’s a simple tick-box form to fill in and send off, for further details see the RSPB website.
We are hoping to count birds on some of the sites we’ve worked on or put bird boxes on, such as Bremner Street, Gasworks Corner, Craven Street, Myers Croft Beck, the Memorial Garden, weather permitting.
Thank you to all the many people, including a group of Beaver Scouts, children from The Whartons, and many others, who came to help us plant thousands of snowdrops in many places around Otley last weekend, including in the Town Centre, behind the Library, opposite The Junction, in our new garden at Craven Street, at the corner of Bremner Street and many other places too numerous to name. More planting is continuing until the end of the month. We should with any luck see our snowdrops beginning to flower next February – look out for them!
Now we’ve had time to add it up, we think that 100 to 150 people helped us plant snowdrops – a Big Thank You to everyone who helped.
We received a very nice report from the Craven Street resident who first asked if we could help him improve the site.
I first contacted Otley In Bloom roughly a year ago about the possibility of clearing up a scruffy triangle of land on Craven Street. It had been an overgrown area full of litter and used to toilet dogs, but not much else, and was a neighbourhood eyesore.
Otley in Bloom were full of ideas, knowledge, organisational skill, energy and an inspiring commitment to the project. They also provided valuable funding and muscle power in weeding, organising the pollarding of the elderberry tree, planting grass seeds and daffodil bulbs, buying a bird box and lastly a bench. As a result we had a wonderful spring show of long flowering daffodils which many people have enjoyed. The bench has recently been installed by OIB volunteers, and though the weather hasn’t encouraged much sitting and chewing the cud yet, it sets the garden off and I hope will encourage further participation with locals planting more bulbs and (I hope) a tree at some point.
Since then some flowering plants have been added at the back, and a plaque fixed to the seat. The Craven Street garden is no longer an eyesore, and is a pleasant place to visit.