UPDATE 28 : 28 September 2000 'IN A GREEN SHADE'
Another mosaic monument using pebbles gathered from the River Wharfe in Ilkley has now been laid out. Based on the theme of 'Living Waters', the mosaic was designed by Ilkley Grammar School pupil Katy Wright. It features a bold and vigorous abstract pattern suggestive of bright swirling streams, dark pools and stony riverbeds, and is framed by a circular stone seat. The Trustees chose to site the monument within a sheltered glade between two steep-sided ghylls - a setting which combines excitement with tranquillity; and this ambience is heightened by the ever-present sounds of water running over rocks.
The monument's theme pays homage to the reputation of Ilkley's spring waters as a healing influence - as evidenced by the historic popularity of the White Wells spa bath, and by the former hydros which constitute an essential part of our town's Victorian heritage. The availability of hydropathic treatment was a major factor in attracting Charles Darwin to stay in Ilkley during the crucial period of the first publication of 'The Origin of Species'. Ian Layfield, the local contractor who laid the mosaic and built the drystone plinth, will be returning to complete the final construction work. Darwin Gardens Trust volunteers are also hoping for dry weather to apply the finishing touches to the 'Tree of Life' mosaic monument, sited next to the community wildlife hedge.
Scrub clearance work by volunteers has already given a boost to the existing but previously overshadowed colonies of violets, celandines and ferns alongside the main ghyll. We are now planning to plant thousands of native variety bluebells, snowdrops, daffodils, fritillaries, foxgloves, primroses and cowslips, to regenerate the woodland and meadow flora typical of this site and described in 19th-century guidebooks to the district. A large area has been rotovated by Bradford Council Landscape Services, to prepare the ground for planting, and most of the plants will be ready (as bulbs) next week.
We invite people of all ages to take part in this major planting event on October 6th - 8th, starting at 11am each day, as part of 'Family Learning Weekend'. Come along to enjoy learning about the past and present environments over this site whilst helping to plant for the future!
Remember that all our progress updates plus a host of other information on Darwin Gardens Millennium Green can now be found at our dedicated website www.darwingardens.co.uk kindly hosted by Ian Chamberlain, one of the Trust's volunteers. We welcome all sections of our community - individuals, businesses, schools and societies, to become involved in this unique opportunity to commemorate the Millennium in Ilkley!
Back to Archive