A Breightmet based wildlife and volunteer group has just been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

It it the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Bolton NEWT engages the community in collaboration, improvement and practical conservation of local wildlife.

Volunteers lead the way in managing a community growing hub where they grow and donate surplus food to food banks.

They also manage the wildlife habitats at Leverhulme Park, host large community events that are free for people to enjoy, and each year support Remembrance Day activities including a display on Bury Road and fund raising for the Royal British Legion.

Twice a year they plant hedgerows with local children.

They joined a resident to help create a fairy forest making more than 150 fairy houses for children, provided Christmas and Halloween goodie bags during the pandemic along with helpful advice about coronavirus, and their outdoor events now bring together upwards of 500 people.

Chris Banks, publicist for Bolton NEWT, says: “Bolton NEWT started with local residents’ litter picking Leverhulme Park.

“After five years, our amazing community in Breightmet has transformed our volunteer led group into becoming a food growing hub, a wildlife conservation group, and a seasonal event provider.”