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Nell Bank winners announced

Ilkley Town Crier Isabel Ashman

The tutors at Nell Bank were delighted that their natural decoration ideas and tutorials, shared on social media in early December sparked such a flurry of creation.

Many local schools and families shared their creations as part of the Nell Bank Natural Decoration Competition. Prizes were awarded for Best Class and Best Individual entries, winning the recipients a class visit and a family visit to Nell Bank.

The tutors brought in a special judge, Ilkley Town Crier Isabel Ashman. Isabel said: “What a wonderful selection of creative and innovative decorations. I really enjoyed looking through the entries. Picking a winner was such a hard decision, because in my eyes they’re all winners for participating and for being so community-conscious.”

Year 1 at Menston Primary School

The winners of the Best School Class category were Year 1 at Menston Primary School. They designed beautiful natural objects and learned how to use tools to create them.

The individual entry winners are Tobias (7) and Bennie (4) from Baildon. Isabel thought their little acorn men were a “whimsical delight”, sure to “put smiles on the faces of the people and squirrels of Baildon”. She was delighted to be involved: “Congratulations to the winners and thank you for giving me the honour of seeing all the wonderful entries – and choosing my favourites!”

Tobias and Bennie entry

Nell Bank’s Head of Centre, Dan Goodey, was also impressed. “We’ve been delighted with the response to our competition – there’ve been some really creative entries from lots of schools and from individuals. We can’t wait to welcome the winners to the centre for a fun-filled Nell Bank adventure! Thanks so much to everyone that entered.”

Although the competition is now closed, if you want to make your own decoration for fun, you can follow Nell Bank on social media to see their decoration-inspiring posts. You can see how to create something natural for your own garden or nearest outdoor space!

The decoration competition aimed to spread a little happiness in the local community. With the same aim, Nell Bank have also created a pop-up nature trail to encourage locals to explore and learn about their environment this Christmas. The tutors have been busy hiding QR codes in Middleton Woods. There are twelve in all, which can be scanned with a mobile phone to unlock their secrets. The codes have been attached to trees and fence posts. Read the code with your mobile to discover a challenge or learn something about nature.

The woodland trail can be started from the Lido, the footbridge, or Curly Hill. There’s no set route – have an adventure exploring the woods, and stumble across the codes as you go.

It’s free to take part, although if you’re able to make a donation it will help the charity continue its work with disadvantaged children across the district. There’s an opportunity to donate as you complete the trail.

You can be search for the codes at any time over the school Christmas break – there are no start or finish times, just lots of fun outdoors!


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