Ilkley Road gateway opened

Ilkley Road gateway

A stunning looking stone cyclist has started greeting motorists as they enter Otley from the Ilkley direction.  It is the centrepiece of a new dry stone wall gateway that has been installed beside the A660, near the turn-off for Wharfebank Business Centre.  It was officially opened in February by Otley’s Town Mayor, councillor Nigel Gill.

The feature is the latest in a series of gateways that Otley in Bloom have been positioning on routes into town.  Others are on Pool Road, Leeds Road and Bradford Road, near Ellar Ghyll.  More gateways are planned for the future.

It was made by dry stone waller Gordon Simpson, who said  “It’s a nod to the Tour de France, which came past this very spot, and Otley’s very long tradition of cycling.  And having the wheels made out of millstones was a way of referencing Yorkshire. It took about three weeks to make. We actually built the wall at home in two pieces and then transported it.”

Litter picking on Ilkley Road and thereabouts

Here’s the latest litter-picking news from Leonie:

Edie, Bob and I went litter picking last Tuesday afternoon. We made quite a difference to Ilkley Road and the grassy areas on either side of the tunnel under the A660, then we ventured into the green and wooded area just behind the bus stop. We’ve had a go at it before with Margaret, Jacquie and Jane. On previous occasions Ernie, Ian and David have also collected litter from the other side of the main road. 

The little wood is full of wild garlic and probably bluebells, as well as discarded bottles, cans, food containers and other more disgusting objects. It could be a wonderful green space and haven for birds as well as people. Altogether we removed a couple of rubbish bags each – there’s plenty more! Although there’s now a replacement covering of sweet wrappers, cans etc  around the edges we did start reclaiming a wasted patch of ground. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could reclaim it as an unlittered patch of woodland?