VOLUNTEERS who help look after Dudley borough’s parks, allotments and other green spaces have been honoured at an awards evening.

Seven groups were presented with glass awards at The Great Green Get Together, which was held inside the Walled Garden at Wollescote Park in Stourbridge.

The annual awards are a celebratory event to say thank you to volunteers at Dudley Council-owned parks, countryside sites and allotment associations.

They were presented by Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental services, and the authority’s chief officer for environmental services, Matt Williams.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “These volunteers devote a great amount of their spare time making sure our parks and green spaces look the best they possibly can, as well as taking the time to put on events that thousands of people have enjoyed.

“I was absolutely delighted to present these awards, which are very richly deserved. We are very grateful for all the work the volunteers do, and it is wonderful to see so many taking a pride in the areas they live in for the benefit of others.”

In the parks and countryside category, the “event organisers” winners were the Friends of Greenfield Gardens. During the past eight months the volunteers have put on a number of activities at the site in Stourbridge’s Old Quarter including a family summer picnic, an Easter egg hunt, gardening events and a special Dawn Chorus event with award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist Brett Westwood.

The Friends of Cotwall End Valley were commended with an award in the “biodiversity developers” category. The group has led visitors on bat, bluebell and butterfly walks and also led a number of projects to improve habitats at the site in Sedgley including pool edge clearances, flower bed maintenance and cutting back overgrowth from pathway edges.

The winners in the “health promoters” category were the Friends of Silver Jubilee Park. The group has been promoting and encouraging healthy living within the park in Coseley in a number of ways, including organising a community orchard project on the redundant bowling green to promote healthy eating and growing your own food.

The Friends of Wollescote Park were named as winners in the “community partnership” category. The group was commended for putting on and organising a number of large community events in the park. They were said to have worked together well with a number of organisations including Dudley Mind, Lye & Stambermill guides and brownies, The Friends of Lye & Wollescote Cemetery and The Friends of Lye Library.

The final award in the parks section, “group transformation”, went to The Friends of Hurst Green Park. During the past 12 months, the group has organised community clean up events and woodland maintenance sessions. It has also been successful in gaining funding for an improvement project in the park in Halesowen to aid wildlife.

There were also two awards handed out in the allotments category. The gong for “site development” went to the Abbey Road Allotment Association. It was the first allotment site to develop plots for people with disabilities in the borough, as well as being the first to receive Green Flag status in Dudley. Volunteers also offer gardening support and assistance for adults with learning disabilities at the site in Halesowen.

Finally, the allotment award for “community partnership” went to the Bayer Street Allotment Association. The group has been working on a school plot this year to encourage local children to experience growing their own food. They have developed links with a number of other organisations, and is also helping with floral displays and hanging baskets to make Coseley a brighter place.