Monday, 19 October 2015

Award Winning Volunteers

At the Cheshire Wildlife Trust AGM, held at Ness Gardens on October 17th, three Wirral Wildlife volunteers were presented with the Eric Thurston Award in recognition of their contributions to the group’s activities.

John Gill being presented with his award.

John Gill has been Honorary Treasurer of Wirral group for fifteen years as well as representing us on Wirral Environmental Network. He has obtained grants to support our newsletters and for equipment such as the laptop and contributed to newsletter production and distribution. On twelve occasions he has completed the fifteen mile Wirral coastal walk, raising about £2000 for Cheshire Wildlife Trust. His annual Christmas Quiz has raised funds and left our brains aching.

Howard Gibson became involved with New Ferry Butterfly Park in 1998. He carries out mid-week mowing of the path edges giving the park a cared for and inviting look and has designed compost bins, located water butts and maintains the posts for the nature, history and sculpture trails. He became treasurer in 1998 and has had to deal with some large (£17K) and complicated grants such as the Comma Project. In 2011 Howard was giving 140 mid-week hours per year plus seven Sundays amounting to 20% of the total volunteer input at the Park that year.

Tom McCullough (left) and Howard Gibson (right) with their awards

Tom McCullough has worked on Cleaver Heath, Red Rocks, Thornton and Foxes woods since 2000. He now manages Foxes Wood and the adjacent Tom’s Paddock.  At Foxes Wood Tom completely removed the non-native variegated yellow archangel by hand and works on Himalayan balsam removal keeping it at a consistently low level. Foxes Wood is the only Dibbinsdale SSSI which is in favourable condition as assessed by Natural England. At Tom’s Paddock (named after Sir Thomas Mostyn a former owner) he mows a third of the area annually using a scythe, creating a grassland full of wildflowers with a good display of orchids. Tom has tremendous energy and determination, a Trojan of a worker who does not want to stop.

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