A GROUP of volunteers have received a national award for their contribution to conservation projects and other environmental work in Wirral Country Park.

John Futhey, Jean Doyle, Steven Crook, Stuart Boyd and Amber Goodwin were presented with the John Muir Award during a ceremony at the park by Merseyside's High Sheriff, Mrs Abila Pointing.

The award encourages people to enjoy the outdoors, get to know more about nature and wild places and do something to look after these places.

It is run and coordinated by the John Muir Trust, a charity set up in 1983 to make sure that wild places are valued by all sectors of society and wild land is protected throughout the United Kingdom.

Cllr Chris Meaden, Wirral cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: "Our volunteers usually go for the ‘Conserver’ Award and earning this is a real achievement as only 1% of award participants in the UK earn this accolade.

"They should be really proud of themselves as I am proud of them and the commitment they have shown to supporting and improving Wirral’s parks."

The five winners this year follow in the footsteps of the eight volunteers and staff who gained the award in October 2013, and the park staff hope to see many more benefit from the award in the coming years.

The scheme is open to anyone including families, young people and children. For more details, visit www.jmt.org