THE National Trust celebrated the remarkable loyalty of its Peak District volunteers as it handed out Long Service Awards.
More than 25 volunteers gathered at the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate to receive awards which ranged from five to 65 years.
They were presented by Jon Stewart, General Manager of the National Trust in the Peak District, who said: “To meet and celebrate the achievements of people who have put in so much voluntary effort to help the National Trust look after large areas of the Peak District for everyone is both inspiring and humbling.
“One of the volunteers, Graham Baxby, has been involved since 1947!
“What I also take from this is that volunteering with the Trust is something people get a lot out of and I hope this inspires others to volunteer so that we can continue to do a great job in looking after and making available to people some of the country’s most special places.”
Present were volunteers of all kinds, from membership recruiters, kitchen gardeners, beekeepers and conservationists, each of whom play their part in the maintenance of Peak District’s stunning countryside.
Members of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers working party were also in attendance, having cut short their morning of bracken cutting to receive their awards.
John Boyle, who has been involved with the National Trust’s work since 1977, said: “Volunteering for the National Trust has always been fun. I’ve learned lots of new skills and made long-lasting friendships.
“When I first started volunteering I thought I would just be contributing to the maintenance of our glorious countryside.
“After over 30 years I now realise that this has become a way of life and I’ve been rewarded a thousand fold by the fun I’ve had and the friends I’ve made.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the National Trust in the Peak District should contact Cathryn Hamer, Volunteer Programmes Manager, on Cathryn.email@example.com or 01433 670368.