Brighten Up Great Ayton
Improving Great Ayton for People and Wildlife.
The Brighten Up Great Ayton (BUG) group work with Great Ayton Parish Council to help realise the vision outlined in the village Plan for Pollinators. The BUG group meets most Thursday afternoons, outside the Village Hall community garden, at 2.00pm (weather permitting) and on other days when extra planting is undertaken.
Depending on the work needed, we may go to work at Chapel Steps, the Cook Family Memorial Garden, the Discovery Centre garden, High Green, or Waterfall Park. See the sign on the railings to find out where we are. The group also runs the Seed Share box in the Discovery Centre.
The work of the Brighten Up Great Ayton group within the village is complemented by:
- the Bug Trail managed by Climate Action Stokesley and Villages group;
- the work of the Friends of Great Ayton Station to create a wildlife friendly station area;
- Christ Church’s work on improving the biodiversity of All Saints churchyard;
- the development of the Yatton House Community Garden and
- the creation of a floodplain meadow by the Parish Council
New volunteers always welcome.
Background to Improving Great Ayton for People and Wildlife
Following the work in Waterfall Park in Great Ayton in 2018, Moor Sustainable CIC worked with Great Ayton Parish Council and the Brighten Up Great Ayton group to improve planting in some of the public areas of the village to make it more attractive to people and wildlife.
The first phase ran from January – June 2019, funded by North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities Programme with support from Great Ayton Parish Council and the Brighten Up Great Ayton group, with:
- A launch walk around the village, leading to a plan for the village identifying a planting scheme which is resilient to climate change, including where and what to plant to benefit pollinators and look attractive, that is easy to maintain for a group of volunteers;
- Training for those involved in the Brighten Up Great Ayton group and those that offered to help maintain Waterfall Park related to the role of bees in pollinating and how to maintain public planting;
- Equipment for volunteers;
- Bulbs, plants and seeds that are attractive to pollinators;
As a result:
- Wildflower seeds provided by Grow Wild have been sown in the Village Hall garden, up the side of Chapel Steps and in Waterfall Park.
- The Brighten Up Great Ayton group helped plant the new Cook Family Memorial Garden.
Cook Cottage Memorial Garden Planting
- An area of grass in the cemetery has been left uncut so that already existing wildflowers (oxeye daisy, common sorrel, bulbous buttercup, cat’s-ear) can flower and their seed be collected to use elsewhere in the village. Leaving the grass longer and letting it flower will enable identification of what grass species are growing here.
- Broadacres Housing Association donated funds for trees and plants for the small grass area at the end of Beech Close. Staff volunteers helped plant five fruit trees and a 25-metre wildflower edge. The trees chosen for the mini-orchard were a mixture of heritage varieties (Bramley and Ribston Pippin apples plus Victoria plum) and modern varieties (Core Blimey and Scrumptious apples) to cope with a changing climate.
- The fruit is available for anyone to pick and any excess apples will be turned into apple juice as part of a community apple pressing. Broadacres will help maintain the new mini-orchard.
- A grant was given, from North Yorkshire County Council’s Locality Fund, to provide seating and planting for a community garden at the Village Hall which will be maintained by the Brighten Up Great Ayton group.
Phase 2 is now complete with additional planting up the side of Chapel Steps and also in the grounds at the back of the Discovery Centre.
Following on from the above work, Moor Sustainable CIC received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for an exciting Bug Trail Project, creating a rubbings trail along the High Street in Great Ayton. An activity booklet and leaflet is available from the Tourist Information section of The Discovery Centre and the Bug Trail app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Further information can be found on the Bug Trail profile page on Visit Great Ayton. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the story of Great Ayton’s High Street through the eyes of pollinators from the earliest records to planting for the future.
Images and information provided by Caryn Loftus of Brighten Up Great Ayton