Volunteer Awards

Volunteer awards

Children helping with ground clearance at Westhay Nature Reserve - Paul Harris/2020VISION

Celebrating our volunteers

The volunteer awards are presented at our AGM where we recognise outstanding individual, group and youth contributions and present lifetime achievement awards.

The volunteer awards recognise and celebrate all the hard work our volunteers across the county do throughout the year, every year, in all weathers, giving so generously of their time and skills.

Volunteering Awards

Habitat Heroes

Awarded to Angie Benoy, Chris Billinghurst, Roger James, Ulick Palmer and Paul Selby. All whom volunteer as Reserve Wardens (VRW) in the West Mendips. This year the VRW went above and beyond, clearing tons of ragwort and even organising other volunteer groups to help us achieve even more.

Volunteering Awards 2020

Tech and Innovation

Awarded to the Wells Local Area Group. Sadly during 2020 many events were cancelled or put on hold, but Wells group swiftly switched to running talks online, helping to promote our work and keep people engaged - not just in Wells - but across the county. 

Volunteering Awards 2020

Inspiring Others

Isobel Pring is a marine biologist and instrumental in organising Shoresearch. This year she assisted SBC project manager, Mark Ward, with redesigning surveys methods, loading training videos, designing quizzes and engaging people digitally. The surveys would not have been able to take place at all this year without her.

Volunteering Awards 2020

Inspiring Others

Helen Hawke is involved with the Trust in many capacities including setting up the Yeovil Wildlife Watch club. The club grew to thriving and popular group in little over a year thanks to Helens creative programme and her enthusiasm. COVID has put Watch Clubs on hold, but Helen has continued to engage participants online with activity suggestions. 

Our volunteers are vitally important to us, without them we would cease to exist as an organisation. At our volunteer awards, we celebrate their achievements and recognise their dedicated work to support Somerset Wildlife Trust’s aims of creating a Wilder Future for all.

How do I nominate a volunteer?

We are currently not accepting nominations until Summer 2021 for our 2020 AGM. Please watch this space and check back for more details and the nomination form which you will be able to download and fill in to nominate someone who goes above and beyond. 

Thank you! 


The nominations should reflect how volunteer nominees have contributed to one or more of our current strategic aims.

Helping Nature recover across Somerset

Somerset Wildlife Trust manages nearly 70 nature reserves across the county covering 1,700 hectares of land. Our reserves provide a vital refuge for a wide range of wildlife in Somerset’s connected landscape We are working to increase the amount and quality of wild places and ensure they are connected allowing wildlife to thrive and travel across connected wildlife rich landscapes.

Inspiring and Connecting people with nature

We know we cannot reverse the decline in biodiversity we are experiencing in Somerset without the support of the people who live and work here. High quality experiences in nature can inspire, change attitudes, motivate action and ultimately be a critical part of the movement to help restore our wild places and wildlife.

Stand Up for Nature

Across the county wildlife and wild places are under increasing threat from a range of issues. We need to inspire people to explore the wonders of Somerset’s natural world for themselves and to take action – whether on one of our reserves or on their own doorstep.

Current rules

In terms of the rules around nominations for the awards, it currently stands that:

  • Anyone who volunteers for Somerset Wildlife Trust can be nominated
  •  Where applicable, volunteers can be nominated under more than one category
  • Volunteers may be nominated as a couple or as a team under ‘Outstanding Group Contribution Award’ if what they have achieved has been a joint effort and where it would not be appropriate to single out any individual
  • Any volunteer or member of staff can submit one or more nominations
  • Volunteers may only receive an award for the same role once in any five-year period
  • Trustees cannot nominate another Trustee
  • Volunteers may receive additional awards for different volunteer roles within SWT
  • Awardees will be chosen by a panel including: two Trustees, staff members representing conservation, volunteering and engagement.

Get in touch

Find out more about volunteering by emailing volunteering@somersetwildlife.org or calling 01823 652 400 

Pin badge scheme

Kindly funded by the Battens Charitable Trust, our pin badge scheme recognises the long term commitment of individual volunteers working for wildlife across Somerset. 

Pin badges are awarded at 5, 10 and 15 years of volunteering. We also have a special "thank you" Bittern badge for volunteers and supporters. The species illustrated on a our badges were chosen to represent some of the iconic wildlife and habitats of Somerset. 

5 Year Volunteering

Large blue butterfly

Formerly extinct in the UK the large blue butterfly Maculinea arion was reintroduced to the Polden Hills in 2000. The Wildlife Trusts are one of a number of partners involved in ensuring proper management of grassland sites and monitoring of populations in their Somerset stronghold. Find out more about the large blue and the management of Green Down nature reserve.  

Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

10 Years Volunteering

Cheddar pink

The cheddar pink Dianthus gratianopolitanus is Somerset's county flower. It has a very restricted range, growing on dry, sunny limestone rocks in the Mendips - in particular Cheddar Gorge. Find out more about the Mendip Hills.

Ubley Warren Nature Reserve - Matt Sweeting

15 Year Volunteering

European eel

Once abundant in wetland of the Somerset Levels and Moors, the European eel Anguilla anguilla is now a critically endangered species. These freshwater fish play a critical role in our wetland ecosystem, providing food for wetland birds and mammals. They have a complicated life cycle and one of the longest migration journeys on the planet. Find out more about our work for eels in Somerset

Eel - Jack Perks

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