Bettys & Taylors has pledged its support to help Open Country improve nature conservation in the Lower Wharfe Valley. We are the latest recipients of a grant from Bettys’ Trees for Life Fund which aims to support projects that make a difference to the Yorkshire landscape.

The company has donated over £3,300 to Open Country, which will pay for nine days of our conservation work at parks and nature reserves across Lower Wharfedale as well as the purchase of plants and saplings to create new habitats for nature. The money will also pay for our expertise in opening up the sites to more people, including building an accessible nature trail at Ben Rhydding Nature Reserve in Ilkley and work at Gallows Hill and the Chevin in Otley and at Parkinsons Park in Guiseley.

We have already carried out six days of conservation work at the sites and we will be inviting some of the team from Bettys Cafe in Ilkley to join us to finish the work once the COVID-19 crisis is over.

Five smiling men from the conservation group sitting on a bench outside

Our conservation groups provide a safe and therapeutic environment for our members to enjoy being outdoors, learn new skills and make a difference to nature. Open Country’s Countryside Activities Officer, Sally says: “Nature is the big winner with this grant, which will be used to improve habitats for many species including birds, bugs and small mammals. But the project will also benefit generations of local families and visitors who visit the sites for fresh air and exercise. We are very grateful for Bettys’ support and hope to invite some of the staff along in the future to see our work in action.”

The Bettys Trees for Life Fund, administered by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, was launched during the business’s centenary year to celebrate their long term passion for trees, the local environment and improving access to the green spaces around us. Jan Garrill, CEO of the Two Ridings Community Foundation, said:  “We are very proud to be working with Bettys and also very proud of the groups funded who show how small grants can make a huge difference to the lives of local people and the environment in which we all live.”

For more information about the Bettys Trees for Life Fund visit www.bettys.co.uk/trees-for-life

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