MOST 80-year-olds spend their special birthday at a party with friends and family.

But not Harold Marsh, who marked his in a gusty Bolton meadow as a Lancashire Wildlife Trust volunteer.

The octagenarian received birthday cards and presents from fellow volunteers as they built a bonfire and then cleared scrub to create a habitat to help wild flowers grow.

Mr Marsh, a father-of-two from Walkden, has been a volunteer with the trust for 12 years — after spotting a sign while walking on Rivington Pike — and has no plans to retire any time soon.

He said: “I volunteer to keep busy and to know that I am giving something back.

“It is similar to being a window cleaner for 40 years.

“You work hard and meet and chat with a lot of people and they can be very different.”

Recently he has been doing two days a week at the Nob End Site of Special Scientific Interest, close to Moses Gate Country Park, and Blackleach Country Park in Walkden.

He carries out the same work as men half his age, helping clear sites, plant trees and advising children who come along to learn about the Trust’s work. He said: “I love volunteering.

“You get to meet very interesting people from all different ages whilst learning lots of new skills, for example building board walks and helping the wildlife.”

He is part of a team led by The Trust’s Greater Manchester volunteer co-ordinator Sue Lonsdale.

Ms Lonsdale said: “Harold has been volunteering since before I started. He was the person to speak to if I needed to know anything about the sites.

“Even at 80 Harold does the same work as everybody else. He works really hard and shares his years of experience with all the other volunteers.”