The great bypass litter mystery

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.

Bremner Street corner

Bremner Street corner was tidied up again this weekend.  The condition of the corner was pretty good. Not too much litter (thanks, Otley), only about a bin bag full.

The majority of the work was to clear the name of the road, weed at the front of the corner and trim back those bushes which were growing onto the pavement.  Behind the front bushes there was a bit of scrubbing up of small plants and a discussion on what to do with the laurels in the midst and the opportunity to plant another fine tree at the rear. 

Lovely weather with small birds singing their hearts out.  Thanks to everyone for turning up and helping.

We put out new bird boxes in the winter and that is one of the reasons the birds were singing.

Bremner Street corner last got a tidy-up in July 2017.

Springfield Place cleaned up

Otley in Bloom met to tidy up the space in front of the advertising hordings by Springfield Place on Sunday 24th of March. It was a beautiful sunny day and around 12 of us cleared all the litter that had accumulated of the past few years, dug out the massive weeds, planted a line of small Box plants, planted a young tree inside a wooden frame and prepared the space for further planting. To protect the area from cars and vans parking on the space we then set large stones into the earth, leveled the surface, sprinkled grass seed on the unplanted spaces and gravel around the Box plants.

The objective is to provide a low maintenance area and the design tries to control weeds and simplify grass cutting while offering security from traffic.

It was a great morning out and the cake was fantastic!

Clean-up at Kell Beck

This is just some of the rubbish we found in and around Kell Beck last weekend. A few Otley in Bloom volunteers, along with some local residents, spent a couple of hours dragging a miscellany of items out of the beck and picking up litter in the area.

When we’d done that, we planted a few daffodils, which we hope will brighten the area up in Spring.