SUMMER 2003 UPDATE
A major milestone was reached on Midsummer Day - the third anniversary of our official opening. The very last of the 1000 flagstones in the Millennium Maze was dedicated, and the display board beside the maze revised to show the complete list of dedications. The list is a fascinating record of supporters from the local community and visitors from afar during the turn of the Millennium in Ilkley.
On the same day the 500th of 1000 trees planted in the 'family tree'
groves and community wildlife hedgerow was adopted.
Trees currently being offered for adoption at £2 each are in the hedgerow bordering the maze area, and application forms to send in with your donation can be obtained from our information point at Darwin Gardens. Alternatively you can use our website application form. We will normally affix name tags to the trees within a week of receiving an application form.
Within the ever-popular Millennium Maze, two more feature flagstones
have been laid, for Ilkley Parish Council and the City of Bradford Metropolitan
District Council, and we look forward to laying the final feature flagstones
as part of the Ilkley Summer Festival which begins with the traditional
Yorkshire Day celebrations on August 1st. The approach to the maze has
been attractively resurfaced in woodchips (to overcome wear & tear
on the grass from our throngs of visitors!)
The new pond, sited in a woodland glade near the top of the site, is developing very successfully. With the introduction of both marginal and aquatic plants, the water has cleared to allow observation of the newts, tadpoles and insects which have already taken up residence there. A family of ducks was also raised nearby and used the pond occasionally in the spring. The water level has been maintained in all weathers, with only minimal attention to the channel feeding it from the stream.
Volunteers have planted a willow arbour nearby, and many of the osier
stems forming the structure have now taken root.
As these grow, the arbour will become a living shelter and suntrap, and an idyllic place from which to enjoy the pond.
Spare osiers have been planted at other suitable locations over the Green, to grow a reserve if replacements are needed. The feature will be shortly be completed by the installation of a seat and decking using rotproof recycled plastic material.
Work parties have been busy with several regular tasks such as bracken control and strimming of selected areas on site.
During the winter a large gorse bush by the picnic area was re-invigorated by cutting it back to stimulate growth at the base. The hedgerow is developing well thanks to its sheep-resistant fencing, and many individual trees in the 'groves' have now had their guards shortened to allow denser sideways spread.
A memorial tree to Jack Bloor, to complement the annual fell race held
on the moor opposite, is becoming established behind the belvedere. There
is a new sign directing visitors to the Green from Wells Road, and we now
display seasonal 'Naturewatch' notes at our main signboard. Volunteer work
parties are soon to be equipped with gardening 'workwear', and the flagpole
has been reinstated for the summer season (suitably protected by biological
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