A NEW free guide to discovering Otley’s wildlife has been published.

Produced by Wildlife Friendly Otley, the leaflet highlights the species that can be found in places like the Chevin Forest Park, Gallows Hill nature area and the town’s parks and riverside.

Wildlife Friendly Otley produced the guide with support from Otley Town Council and ward Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon).

The group invited nature writer Carey Davies, the editor of The Great Outdoors magazine, and Town Otley Mayor Councillor Peter Jackson as guest speakers for the launch event.

Mr Davies, who was born and grew up in Otley, said: “The natural world was ever present for me in Otley. When introduced to you as a child nature stays with you, unlike almost everything else.

“I feel passionate about this Wildlife Friendly Otley group because, even though Otley is a small place, the world is made up of small places and if we all do our bit it makes a big difference.”

He added: “It can be hard to feel positive about the world today. But on a human level the people of Otley really do have empathy for the wildlife they share their town with. When the countryside isn’t the safe place for wildlife it could be, places like Otley can be a refuge.”

Councillor Peter Jackson said: “I am proud Otley Town Council was able to support the production of the guide and hope to support Wildlife Friendly Otley further in the future. I look forward to the day when Otley can say we are a wildlife friendly town.”

Wildlife Friendly Otley’s Chair, Andrew McKeon, hopes the guide will inspire people to find out more about the ‘amazing’ animals and plants on their doorstep. He said: “Otley is very fortunate to have such a rich natural environment. We want more people to appreciate, enjoy and help protect the wildlife around us.”

The guide is available from Otley Library, Otley Courthouse and Otley Core, along with other outlets around town and tourist information centres. For more details send an e-mail to wildlifefriendlyotley@gmail.com.