Michael Walker was shocked when he learned that he had been named Good Citizen of the Year by his local council

The 76-year-old Egremont man said the news “came out of the blue. It was something I would never have expected.”

Edna Branthwaite and other regular users of the cycle way and walking path from the Egremont Cemetery towards Woodend think differently.

He was nominated for “his hard work and dedication in making their walks a lot more pleasurable by planting spring bulbs and flowers along the path for all to see and which burst with colour and scent when walking past them”.

Mr Walker said he started planting the bulbs on a small patch as a memorial to a friend.

“It just grew from there," he said.

“I like to feed the birds there. I have actually got a robin who comes and sits on my hand for his food, although I try not to feed the wild birds in summer.”

He started planting the bulbs about three or four years ago.

“I needed a knee replacement and was getting quite lame. Once that was done I feel quite fit again so I will continue doing it.”

He said he enjoyed the pleasure that other people get from the spring flowers.

“People stop and talk when I am there and they tell me how much they enjoy the display. That makes it worthwhile.

It started as a personal tribute to a friend but is now something from which so many take pleasure," he said.

Mr Walker begins his preparations and bulb planting between now and November.

In presenting the award to Mr Walker, the citation noted that: “He carries out this work all by himself in a quiet and unassuming manner.

"He provides the soil and bulbs and splits them to increase the floral display year on year and councillors deemed him a very worthy winner who should be congratulated on making this cycleway a pleasure to walk and ride along. Well done, you are truly a valued member of our community.”.

Mr Walker was awarded the council’s individual award.

The Good Citizen’s Group Award was awarded to the Egremont Covid-19 group involved in helping those most vulnerable in our community during the pandemic.