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Pictured: Volunteer May Shields with her award at Bonnyfield Nature Reserve

A long time volunteer at Bonnyfield Nature Reserve has had her efforts recognised at the    recent CVS Falkirk Volunteer of the Year Awards.

May Shields, 80 years old, has been an active volunteer at the Nature Reserve for over 15 years and was highly commended for her commitment to maintaining one of the Council’s three Local Nature Reserves, the other two being Carron Dams in Stenhousemuir and Kinneil in Bo’ness.

She works alongside the Council’s Rangers and the many other volunteers at the Reserve and is well known for always being around with  her trolley filled with tools, dog bags, pruning equipment and bird seed ready to take on any task and keep the area tidy and free from litter.

Since moving to Bonnybridge from Loch Leven in 2007, May has been a cornerstone of the reserve. Her commitment has only grown over the year’s and in the last year she has helped plant thousands of bluebells, snowdrops and dozens of trees and hedging.

Fiona Wishart, Countryside Ranger and Chair of  Bonnyfield Local Nature Reserve Group said: "May Shields has been an invaluable asset to the Bonnyfield Nature Reserve for over 15 years.

“Her dedication to maintaining and enhancing the reserve is truly inspiring. Whether she's planting thousands of bluebells or simply keeping the area tidy with her trusty trolley, May's hard work and commitment shines through in everything she does.

“We are thrilled to see her efforts recognised with this well-deserved commendation. Her contributions have made a lasting impact, and we are incredibly grateful for her  constant support and enthusiasm."

May's contributions are not limited to planting. She has been a vigilant caretaker of the reserve and ensuring the area remains litter-free. She reports  issues such as flooding or fallen trees to the rangers and assists with injured wildlife.  She also looks after all the bird feeders throughout the year.

Bonnyfield is situated to the west of Bonnybridge and bordered to the south by the Forth and Clyde Canal. It has a diverse range of habitats for wildlife and is popular with local people. The site was once a sand and gravel quarry in the 1980s and ownership was transferred to Falkirk Council in 1996. Extensive works followed and it was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1998. The site is owned by Falkirk Council and is managed by Bonnyfield Local Nature Reserve Group who are all local people and facilitated by Falkirk Council Ranger Service.

If anyone would like to become a volunteer at the Reserve contact the ranger service at