VOLUNTEERS who have dedicated their time to maintaining and conserving Horner Woods National Nature Reserve have been honoured for their commitment to the National Trust-owned property.

Dunster County Store manager Richard Sussex presented all 29 volunteers with letters of appreciation and vouchers at an event at Piles Mill in Exmoor.

Each was also handed discount cards provided by outdoor clothing specialist Rohan, which offered to sponsor every volunteer who completed more than 50 hours’ work in the past year.

As well as maintaining the 250km of rights of way and helping conserve rare lichens within the reserve, volunteers provided information and assistance to the millions of visitors who visit the property every year.

The presentation was also a special occasion for nine of the volunteers, who were presented with their five-year long service awards, and also marked the retirement of David Baldwin, who helped restore the 5km boundary wall around Selworthy Woods.

Mr Sussex said: “I have always been very impressed with the significant contribution that volunteers make to the local area and I am very pleased that Rohan has been able to support the volunteers in this way.”

Volunteer manager Paul Camp added: “Our volunteers freely give up their time without any thought of reward other than to feel they are making a difference to the local area, so it is fantastic that their achievements have been recognised in this way.”