LANCASHIRE County Council's countryside service has appointed a new volunteer co-ordinator.

The authority is looking to boost recruitment for its force of 120 unpaid helpers to look after and enhance its 80 plus rural beauty spots including Wycoller near Colne, Spring Wood near Whalley, Quarry Hill nature reserve in Nelson, and Brandwood in Stacksteads.

County deputy leader Cllr Albert Atkinson, who represents Ribble Valley North-East said: "Prospective volunteers can opt to do as much or as little as they like.There's no pressure to commit lots of time. A lot of our countryside volunteers are people who visit their nearest site frequently and have a sense of pride and ownership towards it and want to do their bit to keep it looking good.

"Our rangers make regular site visits but don't always have the time to do everything themselves. We rely on volunteers to carry out small day to day tasks such as carrying out repairs to seats and benches or cutting back vegetation. One of the most valuable roles is simply to be our eyes and ears."

Cllr Atkinson added: Being a countryside volunteer is a great way to stay fit, meet like-minded people, and enjoy the outdoors.

"Volunteers not only have the satisfaction of seeing how their work benefits the environment of the sites, but also the positive impact on the wider community who enjoy visiting them."