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Man Who Loves Trees Wins National Volunteer Award

Published on: 15 Nov, 2014
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2014

A Guildford man who loves “messing around in the woods” has won the UK-wide Woodland Trust’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Award winner Sam Jones down in the woods.

Award winner Sam Jones down in the woods.

Sam Jones was recognised with the charity’s Juniper Award for being the best champion of woods and trees charity’s annual volunteer conference and reception dinner, held in Leeds on November 1.

Sam was unable to attend the event, but his achievements were read out by the chief executive of the Woodland, Trust Beccy Speight, and Woodland Trust president and TV presenter Clive Anderson.

Sam was nominated for the award by Chris Hickman who is a public relations officer at the trust, for his work as a local media volunteer. In this role Sam has struck up great relationships with local staff and media – resulting in attracting people to local events, generating enquiries about volunteering for the trust and spreading the general message about the trust’s aims and objectives. He also works for CTC, the national cycling charity.

On hearing the news he had won the award, Sam said: “It’s a completely unexpected honour, and I feel as though I must have cheated as I was enjoying myself too much in everything I did!

“I’m extremely grateful to the excellent support I had from both Chris Hickman and Sarah Stebbing – they’ve given me a wonderful excuse to mess around in the woods. We’re so fortunate to have woodlands like on our doorstep, and I would really encourage people to go and explore them.”

Chris Hickman, Sam’s volunteer manager said: “Sam has worked tirelessly to help promote the work done by the Woodland Trust, covering stories as diverse as bluebell walks, owl box monitoring and an event highlighting the way woodland creation can prevent flooding. He has even taken part in a number of volunteer activities to get a hands-on idea of what the work entails, showing a great deal of dedication to the task at hand.”

Each year the Woodland Trust gives awards to the most outstanding volunteers for their talent and dedication. Winners are selected from nearly 2,000 volunteers all over the UK, who in 2013 dedicated over 140,000 hours of their time.

To find out how you can get involved as a volunteer visit

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Responses to Man Who Loves Trees Wins National Volunteer Award

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Well done. We need more people like you!

  2. Margot Reply

    November 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Well done! Guildford now has its new “Baron in the Trees”!

  3. Susan Parker Reply

    November 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Congratulations, Sam. Great to have a local champion, and as you say, we are so lucky to have the woods on the doorstep.

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