Otley wins Silver Gilt

The Yorkshire in Bloom awards ceremony took place on Tuesday 10th September in the grand surroundings of York Race Course.  The town was delighted to be awarded a Silver Gilt award, as in 2018.

Katie Burnett, the chair said, “It is always a pleasure to take the judges on a tour around the town and show them all the great projects that the people of Otley are involved in which enhance the green spaces in the town.  The judges are always very impressed by how many different volunteer groups the town has that are all working towards the same goals, the involvement of the local businesses through Otley BID and the environmental credentials of Otley Town Council.”

The group will be celebrating 20 years of making Otley bloom in 2020 and have some members who have been involved since the early days.  David Bellerby, the competition coordinator, remarked, “The judging criteria have changed in the 20 years with more emphasis now being put on sustainable planting and wildlife-friendly planting rather than bedding plant displays.  Our practices have to reflect how the community benefits from having great green spaces and the number of people who benefit.  However some things remain the same: the judges mark us down very severely for litter, graffiti, dog mess and weeds, and those issues never seem to go away.”

The group would like to thank all the residents, businesses and groups who contribute to the Yorkshire in Bloom effort, and particularly thank Neil Wilson and the LCC Parks team who continue to do an incredible job with ever-dwindling resources.

The judges are coming!

On Tuesday 9th July in the afternoon, the Yorkshire in Bloom judges will be touring Otley to see how well we’re doing.  We usually do really well in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, let’s hope Otley can make a good impression this year too. 

We will be having a Big Clean-Up on Sunday 7th July at 10am at the Buttercross.  This is a fun process and equipment will be provided but you might want to bring your own gloves and clothes that don’t mind a bit of dirt.  Please come along if you can spare the time and help out.

On Monday 8th July at 7pm we will have a final clear-up just to tidy up things missed or any new litter.

Please come along if you can spare the time and help out.

If you have a house or a business in the centre of Otley you can help us by making sure your patch is litter-free, and any floral displays you have are looking their best, and that any dead plants are removed – also it makes the town nicer for all of us!  

The weather has been making a real effort to help us and a lot of houses and businesses are looking pretty wonderful.  Thank you all for the work done so far.

There are some wonderful sights in Otley at the moment, just choosing two at random:

and:

Otley to represent Yorkshire in Britain in Bloom

Since 2000 Otley in Bloom have been enhancing green spaces around Otley and coordinating our entry into the Yorkshire in Bloom competition.  For the last 3 years the town has been awarded Gold and Best in Category.

This continued success has caught the eye of the Britain in Bloom organisation and Otley has been invited to enter the prestigious competition joining the likes of Harrogate, Filey and Kippax who have all represented Yorkshire in the past.  Being chosen to enter the competition already marks us out as one of the best cared for communities in the country and the publicity from the competition will allow us to increase trade, tourism and wellbeing for residents.

Katie Burnett, Secretary of Otley in Bloom, said

“It is a really special opportunity to showcase our fabulous town and build on the national recognition the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire have brought.  I’ve been involved with OIB since 2005 and firmly believe that attractive green spaces and floral displays have a positive impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing.”

Judges from the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom campaign will be assessing the town’s

  • Horticultural Achievement
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Community Participation

The Otley in Bloom team will coordinate the town’s competition entry by creating a route to take the judges on which shows some of the highlights of our green spaces.  David Bellerby, Competition Coordinator explained the benefits of the competition for Otley, “It has taken us 16 years to prove we have the right balance of horticultural projects to be worthy of a place in the Britain in Bloom competition, the feeling for us is that of a footballer chosen for the national squad for the first time.  We can expect great coverage in the national and local press, and we hope that lots of residents and businesses will support us this year in going the extra mile to make our town shine.  Having great green spaces is important in creating a sense of pride and community, helping people get enough physical exercise and supporting wildlife and biodiversity.  The floral displays in the town centre are important for the businesses in creating an atmosphere that draws potential customers into the town, encouraging them to linger and spend money that then gets recirculated around the local economy.”

Otley in Bloom’s campaign for Britain in Bloom glory starts here and your help is vital.

Get involved now….

  • Be part of our fundraising “Open Gardens” event on June 25th, either by opening your garden to visitors or spending a pleasant afternoon visiting Otley’s private gardens.
  • Join our team of volunteers – help with gardening, administration, litter picking, social media, and watering plants is needed.
  • Ensure that your premises at home and work look their best this summer and don’t forget to keep dead heading and watering as it is easy for summer displays to “go over” in a hot summer.

To get in touch, register your garden for the Open Gardens, or to come to our next meeting call Katie Burnett 01943 462390

Otley wins Gold for the third year running

For the third year running, Otley has been given a Gold award by Yorkshire in Bloom, and Category winner for being the best small town in the competition this year.

Our Competition Coordinator David Bellerby said,

“We are proud and thrilled that our lovely town of Otley has been awarded Gold and Category Winner by Yorkshire in Bloom for the third consecutive year.  This is a great achievement for the town.  It is a tribute to all the hard work by Otley in Bloom members, individuals, organisations and businesses who have contributed to the colourful displays which have enhanced the town and helped to make Otley an attractive place in which to live, work and visit.  Thanks and congratulations to everyone for a great team effort in growing civic pride.”

Jason Knowles of Otley Town council said,

“Otley can certainly be proud of its floral displays and embracing the community spirit that is so important to the success of the ongoing campaign. With a dedicated chairman who has a passion for Otley and the Bloom campaign and a Leeds City Council parks department with years of experience in delivering high-quality horticultural displays, Otley is certainly now making its mark at the In Bloom competitions.  This is a fantastic and well deserved result for Otley’s In Bloom team, participating businesses, schools, community groups, Town Council, Otley BID and Leeds City Council Parks department and the many volunteers who have worked so hard not only this year but every year.”

Yorkshire in Bloom summer judging

This year’s Yorkshire in Bloom Summer Judging will take place on the morning of Tuesday 12th July.  This year we didn’t have a Spring Judging due to the winter floods, so this is our only chance this year to impress the judges, and if we do really well maybe we might get our third Gold award. 

We will be cleaning up and improving our planters and flower displays over the next week.  If you have any floral displays outside your house or business it would help us if you would make sure they are looking their best, no weeds, no dead flowers, well watered and litter-free.  We will be tidying up around Otley on Sunday morning and Monday evening.