ANNUAL UPDATE 2006
Part of the Yorventure grant, together with funds from Ilkley Parish Council, has also allowed us to surface an area beside the Millennium Maze, as an observation point for wheelchair users. Constructed from an attractive block-paving, the area surrounds a sturdy recycled plastic bench, dedicated by Mrs Ieleen Mann in memory of her late husband, and was officially opened on April 14th by her son, who is himself a wheelchair user. The feature has proved extremely popular also for families with pushchairs or 'buggies' for children, and its siting provides a splendid sun-trap with views over the maze, up to White Wells and Ilkley Moor. It also complements the wheelchair-accessible belvedere seating area at the top of the site, which has melded attractively into the landscape thanks to the profuse growth of surrounding native plants.
'Darwin's View', the monumental plaque to Charles Darwin which stands beside the parking area, has been complemented by the addition of a boulder richly marked with fossil vegetation impressions. The boulder was removed from building excavations nearby, and has been placed on a rock plinth by our volunteers to form a feature reminding visitors of the important evidence provided by fossils in Darwin's theory of evolution.
The Green played host to the JK06 Orienteering Festival on April 15th, when international competitors and their supporters thronged the site on their way to and from the courses on Ilkley Moor. The annual Doggy FunDay was organised by 'Best Friends' on August 19th, with participants and spectators alike rising to the occasion despite some challenging weather conditions, with plenty of fun and games.
Almost 800 of the 1000 hedgerow bushes have now been dedicated, with bushes by the daffodil bank at the top of the site still available for adoption. For a donation of just £2 per bush, we will affix name tags to bushes usually within a week of receiving an application. Full details and application forms to send with your donation can be found at our information signboard beside the car park area. Alternatively you can use our website application form. We have erected simple fencing enclosures around the groves of dogwood bushes, to protect them from the attentions of grazing sheep, re-using wood provided by a local builder. The increasing size of the guelder roses and crab-apples has been met by upgrading the strength of their supporting stakes, which will eventually be removed as the plants reach maturity. During National Tree Week we carried out our third year of planting dedicated trees on the lower slopes of Ilkley Moor, opposite the Millennium Green.
Darwin Gardens has succeeded in continuing its Green Pennant status - the national quality standard for green spaces maintained by volunteer groups, for the third year running. We have also made the site a focal point for a series of walks on Ilkley Moor, linked to features within the Millennium Green. Based on the theme of 'The Elements' - Water, Earth, Air & Fire - the walks are described and illustrated in a pack of leaflets available from Ilkley Tourist Information Centre, with all our proceeds from sales contributing to the continuing upkeep of Darwin Gardens.
Back to Archive