The Woodland Trust Volunteer Awards 
Lionel Knobbs, Bluebell Award 

>> Dave Scott, treescape development lead: 
Lionel stands out because of his can-do attitude. He never has an issue, he has a solution. We had devastating floods in this area in August 2017 and Lionel phoned us up, not just to tell us how much damage had been done, but also what damage he had fixed before being asked, and it's that kind of attitude that really sets Lionel apart. Our First World War project in Northern Ireland is commemorating all the fallen across the island of Ireland, so it's a cross-border project, and through that we will be planting 40,000 trees. 

>> Lionel Knobbs, volunteer warden: 
I'd been aware of the Woodland Trust for quite a while but when they came here first of all, that was a new thing, so I began to do a bit of research, made a few enquiries, and then registered. Became a volunteer. My role has been kind of evolving ever since. My first role really was, and still is, picking up litter, but I mean I do enjoy getting out there and making a difference. And so historically, you’d have come heron a daily basis, and there’d have been very much visible litter, and to create a positive impression for other people coming and discovering the woods, it's a simple task. 

We've all evolved as relationships evolved. Staff at the Woodland Trust became aware that I do have a bit of knowledge and background of invasive species, for example, so they began to utilise me as the local guy here, pretty much on a weekly basis. I think it's important, you know, when I'm here on a regular basis as a volunteer. You're always going to meet people and there's a growing number of people visiting these woods and there's always an opportunity for a bit of subliminal messaging. Every opportunity I get I'm selling the fantastic work of the Woodland Trust, you know.  

So, we certainly welcome new volunteers and the more the merrier, and I take great delight in meeting people like that, passing on perhaps some of the passion I have, but also learning from them. Everybody's got a specialism and everybody’s unique, so we’re all learning from each other. 

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