A Chester man has received the highest accolade for volunteering from the region’s largest nature conservation charity, the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Peter Lennon from Vicars Cross, received his Eric Thurston Award from Cheshire Wildlife Trust at the charity’s AGM, with his commemorative wildlife print handed over by former BBC North West Tonight presenter and trust president, Felicity Goodey CBE.

Peter volunteers almost every week with the charity, on projects as varied as dragonfly monitoring and IT work at their south Cheshire headquarters.

His nomination was put forward by staff from across the trust, with whom Peter has worked in recent years.

Over the last year, Peter has attended practical volunteer days at least twice a month with the charity’s Lost Mosses project in Delamere Forest, along with surveying for butterflies and assisting with the trust’s ground-breaking re-introduction of the once extinct white-faced darter dragonfly.

In between, Peter has also helped out with a new project producing eco-friendly charcoal from trees that have been removed to reveal historical wildlife habitats with Delamere Forest.

Peter has also been with the Gowy Connect project since it began over two years ago, working with farmers and the Environment Agency along the Gowy and Mersey rivers, helping with tasks like reinstating hedges and other riverside habitat improvements for farmland birds, otters and water voles.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Peter additionally assists with Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s administrative team at their Bickley Hall Farm HQ, helping to input information on new supporters and fundraising appeals.

The Eric Thurston Award is named after the eminent Cheshire naturalist, with the award itself being a limited edition Roger Stephens print of peregrine’s circling above Beeston Castle.

Charlotte Harris, Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s chief executive said: “With Peter helping us out sometimes two or three days a week across so many projects, it’s like having an extra member of staff.

“On our white-faced darter dragonfly project in Delamere, he probably attends more sessions than anyone else, and is a well-known and popular face in our head office.

“It’s only with the support of people like him and hundreds and thousands of others across Cheshire and the UK, that our wildlife conservation movement remains in good health.

“The Wildlife Trusts and so many of our biggest conservation charities were founded, and continue to grow to this day, on a foundation of volunteers. Without people like Peter, we simply could not do what we do every day helping to protect the nature on our doorstep.”