Celebrating our wonderful volunteers

There is nothing better than walking into a room to see a sea of smiling faces, welcome to Volunteer Conference 2019.

Our annual get-together to celebrate the amazing work our volunteers do for nature is also a great place to meet up with friends and to make new ones. It’s a place to boast about their own reserves and hear about problems and new ideas and how colleagues deal with them.

Volunteer Conference 2019 - lego

And, this year, we learned about linking green spaces, reintroducing species and our Stone Age ancestors and their gardening skills. Conservation grazing, rewilding and wildlife in your back garden were also on the agenda, with some Lego building bringing back happy memories for many of us. Gary Hart also spoke about getting our voices heard in Parliament over the constant drone of “Will we? Won’t we?” that is dominating our politics at the moment.

If all this proved too tiring, the MyPlace team then calmed everyone down with a bit of ecotherapy and well-being.

Simon Webb - Volunteer Conference 2019

The consensus was that ecologist Simon Webb’s talk on Wild Ennerdale was a triumph, provoking thought and comment.

UCLAN always comes up trumps, it is a perfect venue and the buffet is worth a couple of visits, with some left over for the bus home.

Once again Catherine and her team have created an event worthy of our wonderful volunteers and friends.

A huge thank you to volunteer Brian Jones for taking photographs on the day. Many wonderful memories of the day for us to cherish forever.

A huge thanks as always goes to our incredible army of volunteers, without you we couldn’t achieve what we do for wildlife across our region.

Volunteer Awards 2019

Volunteer Conference 2019 - Kate Cave

The Marsh Award Runner up - Kate Cave

The Marsh Award is to recognise a Wildlife Trust volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to marine conservation and who has furthered the work of The Wildlife Trusts in our area. Kate Cave was awarded the Runner Up prize, as her contribution towards both the Fylde Sand Dunes and Living Seas North West projects has been invaluable.

Conservation Achievement Award – Andy Osborne

Andy has been volunteering for over three years, he comes out whatever the weather or task with a smile on his face encouraging others, coming up with new ideas to try on the Mosslands. Always enthusiastic he helps with both the Sphagnum squad and regular volunteer work parties. As treasurer of the Friends of Chat Moss he is heavily involved in spreading the groups work in the local community and in the last 18 months as raised over £7500 for the restoration works on Chat Moss.

Myplace logo

Most Inspirational Volunteer - Greg Callaghan

Greg has volunteered with the Myplace project as the key volunteer on our Dirtworks project every Saturday for the last 6 years. Since retiring this year, Greg has also volunteered with us every Thursday doing various things for the project including making a shave horse and endless tree cookies for and education. He regularly volunteers with our Brockholes over 25’s hub on a Thursday afternoon, sharing his skills with the participants. We rely on Greg in so many ways, Myplace is a better project with his support and we want to say thank you to him through this award.  

Learn more about Myplace

Volunteer Conference - Simon Melling

Simon Melling (middle) with Myplace Volunteer Co-ordinator Mike McDonnell (L) and LWT President, Chris Davies

Newcomer of the Year – Simon Melling

Simon has been a volunteer with the Myplace Project since February 2019 after he'd finished as a Myplace participant. Simon embraced the project wholeheartedly and when I suggested he became a volunteer, although nervous and lacking self-confidence he thought why not.   He has gone from strength to strength, now comfortable planning and leading session of his own.  He is reliable, enthusiastic, adaptable and willing to go the extra mile whatever is asked of him for the project. He shares his story willingly which enables other participants to feel comfortable to share theirs.

Volunteer Conference 2019 - Brian Hunt

Brockholes Reserve Manager, Lorna Bennett with Brian Hunt and President of LWT, Chris Davies

Unsung Hero – Brian Hunt

The whole staff team at Brockholes nominated Brian for his immense levels of assistance with conservation work at Brockholes. Brian is always there to assist at the drop of a hat, whenever he is needed. Much of his work is unseen by visitors, other volunteers and staff at Brockholes but without his support and dedication, we would not be able to achieve our conservation objectives.

Volunteer Conference 2019 - Lucy Hiller

Lucy Hiller receiving her award from LWT President, Chris Davies

Young Person of the Year – Lucy Hunt

Lucy is a highly valued and committed member of the grazing project. In her one thousand plus volunteer hours so far this year, Lucy has helped with all aspects of caring for the welfare of our grazing animals. Lucy is also an active volunteer on the red squirrel project and a regular volunteer at Freshfield Dune Heath. She is always willing to help and approaches challenges with good sense and humour, she is a supportive team member and a pleasure to work alongside.

Volunteer Conference 2019 - Fylde Guide Walk Leaders

Fylde Sand Dunes Officer, Amy Pennington with the Guided Walk Leaders and LWT President, Chris Davies

Wildlife Champions - The Fylde Sand Dunes Guided Walk Leaders

This passionate group have successfully led over 50 guided walks on the Fylde Sand Dunes. They dedicate time during their weekends to engage with both visitors to the Fylde Coast and members of the local community about the Fylde sand dunes. The group is so passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated to not only the project, but the Wildlife Trust, and they are an incredible asset to us.

Tim with one of the facilities team

Head of People Engagement, Tim Burrows, with one of the Brockholes Facilities Team

Volunteer Group of the Year – The Brockholes Facilities Team

The team is made up of Phil Cairns, Mo Sadaat, Brian Bellas, Dave Wignall, David Armer and Michael Wright, a group of volunteers with a huge range of trade skills, knowledge and experience gained from many years in industry. They bring their knowledge, experience (and good humour!) to the unique challenge of looking after our floating Visitor Village at Brockholes. This nomination comes from all the staff at Brockholes in recognition of how much they are appreciated by all of us. Their work goes on "behind the scenes" so it is wonderful to see the team take centre stage at the wards and be recognised or their efforts keeping Brockholes floating!

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Volunteers at Brockholes Nature Reserve

More photographs from the Volunteer Conference 2019

Volunteer Conference 2019