OTLEY is celebrating winning a Silver Gilt Yorkshire in Bloom award.

Otley in Bloom found out the good news during the competition’s awards ceremony at York Race Course on Tuesday, September 10.

Chair Katie Burnett 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 to enhance our green spaces.

“The judges are always very impressed by how many different volunteer groups the town has that are all working towards the same goals, along with the involvement of 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 has some members who have been involved since the early days.

Otley in Bloom’s Competition Coordinator, David Bellerby, said: “The judging criteria has changed over 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 do 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 local residents, businesses, and groups who contribute to the Yorkshire in Bloom effort each year.

And they expressed special gratitude to Neil Wilson and the Leeds City Council Parks department team for ‘continuing to do an incredible job with ever dwindling resources’.

Otley also claimed a Silver Gilt award in last year’s Yorkshire in Bloom, despite having to contend with some challenging - snow in March followed by a summer heat wave - weather conditions.

In 2017, meanwhile, the town’s group competed in the national Britain in Bloom competition which they had been nominated for on the back of a string of Gold regional awards.

For more details about Otley in Bloom visit www.otleyinbloom.co.uk .