COMMUNITY groups Wildlife Friendly Otley and Otley 2030 have joined forces to invite residents to a free online event where they can learn how to make their gardens more wildlife friendly.

The webinar will be hosted by local wildlife expert, River Six.

The event will focus on simple tips that everyone can follow to make their outside space more suitable for native wildlife, such as bees, butterflies, hedgehogs and bats.

Some of these most recognisable British animals are in decline and so anything we can do to help them is very important.

Wildlife Friendly Otley is a local organisation working to make Otley the country’s first Wildlife Friendly Town.

The community group, Otley 2030, aims to make the town carbon neutral by 2030.

“Everyone can get involved,” said River, who will host the webinar.

“Our gardens can be great habitats for wildlife and even small steps, like introducing a bird bath or leaving part of your lawn unmown to create shelter and food for insects and birds, can make a big difference.

“Watching birds appear almost instantly on a feeder is a great way to connect with wildlife and attract many different types of bird into your garden.

And even one pot or window-box of wildflowers can provide a refuelling pitstop for pollinating bees.”

Saturday, March 20 marked the first ever ‘World Rewilding Day’, which made a statement about the need to ‘restore and rewild nature across the globe’.

It is thought that 41 per cent of UK species have declined since the 1970s.

“Our long-term aim is to inspire enough people to connect with nature, so that as many as 90 per cent of the gardens in Otley have at least one wildlife feature,” added River.

“We’re doing this by talking about how important our gardens can be as refuges for wildlife and, when COVID allows, by holding drop-in events to teach people how to make their own bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog homes.”

‘How to attract wildlife to your garden’ will be presented online, by River Six, on Wednesday, March 31 at 7pm.

Go to for lots more tips and, if you’re already doing things to help wildlife in your garden, please let Wildlife Friendly Otley know by sharing on social media with the tag, #mywildlifepledge

Follow Wildlife Friendly Otley and Otley 2030’s social media channels for details on how to join the meeting, or email

The webinar is free and open to all but there are only 100 places available, so you’ll need to grab a spot soon.

Register in advance for this meeting: