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Views sought on idea to enhance area in front of Ilkley Playhouse 

Northern slopes in front of Ilkley Playhouse

Climate Action Ilkley is putting together a design brief to redevelop the land in front of the Playhouse between Castle Rd and the river. 

The aim is to realise the full potential of this site as a haven for wildlife and as an enhanced recreational space for local people and visitors. 

A spokesperson for Climate Action Ilkley said: “The global Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the areas around the River Wharfe in Ilkley becoming essential for people’s mental and physical wellbeing. 

“Members of Climate Action Ilkley’s Land and Nature Group have identified the site shown below, north of the Playhouse and Castle Road Allotments, as an area that could be enhanced as a community asset for people and wildlife. 

“We are liaising with a range of stakeholders, including Ilkley Town Council, the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Park, the Playhouse, Wharfedale Naturalists Society and City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council Parks department. We intend to consult residents and allotment tenants on an ongoing basis and now want your views on the project objectives and initial ideas.”

The groups objectives, and short and long-term plans are set out in the consultation document available to download here.  Short term plans include: 

Northern slopes 
• A woodland garden interspersed with open areas 
• Light, airy planting with small, native trees (eg birch, willow, hazel, rowan, holly), shrubs (eg wild roses, honeysuckle, dogwood), woodland bulbs and wildflowers (eg bluebells, primroses, ramsons, wood anemones and foxgloves) 
• Layered planting with different but connected micro-habitats 
• A winding footpath, including improved access down to the main path at the eastern end 
• Benches and picnic areas 
• Wood piles, bug-boxes, bird boxes and bat boxes 
• Shrubs to screen out the derelict toilet block 
• Information boards and improved views of the river 

Amenity area 
• Beds with a mixture of shrubs, bulbs and insect-friendly, scented plants 
• Potential for a few small trees 
• Covid memorial features (benches, plaques etc). 
• Benches, picnic areas and information boards 

The spokesperson added: “We’d love to hear your views on our initial ideas. Do you have any suggestions for improvement?  Do you have a relevant skill and would like to join the project team? When work begins, might you be interested in helping?  A better title for the project is required - something that reflects the location and the aim. If you can think of one, let us know.”  

Comments and suggestions can be emailed by 30 April to landnature@climateactionilkley.org.uk

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