Some of Ripon’s dirtiest alleyways have been transformed after residents stepped in to give them a facelift in an attempt to improve the appearance of the city.
A total of 25 volunteers gathered on Sunday for more than five hours to spruce up two ginnels, leading from Booths’ car park into the centre.
The clean-up, organised by community Facebook group Blow Your Horn Ripon, saw walls and gateways painted, rubbish removed, pots planted up and overgrown bushes cut back or removed to reveal a revamped pathway.
And to the delight of residents, Ripon’s very own Banksy erected a second Alive in Wonderland outdoor mural while the volunteers were working, managing to keep his identity a secret.
Thanking the volunteers, Sally Tweddle, who organised the event with Laura Brown, said: “It was an incredible effort because this was not easy work.
“If those 35 people hadn’t turned up on the day, the ginnels would look exactly the same – they did an incredible job in a short space of time and everyone went home exhausted but proud of what they had achieved having given up their valuable time on a Sunday to achieve a common goal.
“Now their legacy remains and we can confidently say we have made a vast improvement to these two ginnels, which are now much more welcoming to visitors and residents – we only hope they stay that way and people don’t use them to dump rubbish or let their dogs foul the pathway.”
Thanks were also paid to Cando North Yorkshire for rebuilding a badly damaged wall with materials donated by MKM Ripon, as well as companies including Bensons, Tates Garden Centre, The Walled Garden, The Joshua Project, Yorkshire Trading, Costa Coffee and Oliver’s Pantry.
Sally added: “We are also very grateful to local catering firms Tartufo and Food for Thought, who kept our volunteers nourished throughout the day, and thanks to Morrison, Booths, Avalon Artscapes and Discover Ripon too.
“People can see the fruits of the community’s labours if they walk between Booths and the city centre and be sure to check out the new Lewis Carroll inspired art.
“We would really welcome some more plants so if anyone would like to plant a shrub or water something if it looks in need, then please do.”