Over 200 visitors passed through the door on Saturday morning 30 June to inspect the work being carried out in the village by the Environment Group. Displays included biodiversity projects on wildflowers, butterflies, birds, trees, hedges, hedgehogs, becks and green spaces and climate change projects on recycling, electric cars, solar panels, energy efficiency and carbon footprint measurement.
There were also a wide range of displays from other local environmental organisations many of whom work closely with the Addingham Environment Group. The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust brought their mobile classroom and SuDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) house, there were stands illustrating the work of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Wharfedale Naturalists, Wharfedale Tackles Plastic and Heritage Wild Flowers, and Leeds University brought live specimens of invasive species including zebra mussels. The stars of the show, however, were rescued tawny and barn owls brought by Yorkshire Owls.
“Health, well-being and the environment” was a central theme this year and there were displays promoting walking locally, enjoying the environment through art and through photography and by gardening and allotmenting.
MP John Grogan commented on the importance of the work being done by the Environment Group and by all the other organisations present on environmental issues and congratulated everyone on the quality of the work on display. Chief organiser Gill Battarbee was delighted with the turnout and with the help she had been given not only on the day but also in preparation for the event.
On Sunday afternoon 1 July there were two guided walks, both following the same route taking in wildflowers in the Memorial Hall Recreation Ground, the ecology of the Saw Mill Dam, the biodiversity of the Old First School Site, wildlife along the River Wharfe viewed from the Dawson Crossley Field, management options for wildflowers in Church Field, the antiquity and use of the old manorial fish ponds in Church Field and aquatic invertebrate communities in Town Beck. St Peter’s Church Hall kindly stayed open for refreshments at the end of the afternoon.
The walking groups engaged in several debates during the walks, the most controversial being over the future of the Old First School Site, a site likely to be earmarked for housing by Bradford Council. After almost twenty years of re-wilding since the school was closed down this is now one of the most tranquil sites in the village, rich in birds, butterflies and wildflowers, and often visited by roe deer.
The Addingham Environment Group was formed in 2016. It now has well over 100 members in the village. For more information please visit http://addinghamenvironmentgroup.org.uk/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org