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2016 Winner

The RFS Sylva Trophy 2016 for outstanding contribution to forestry has gone to Ian Jack, Lowther Estate's Forestry and Landuse Manager in Cumbria - a forester described as having an " infectious enthusiasm for forestry that is impossible to ignore."

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Ian Jack: collects the Sylva Trophy Award 2016 for an 'outstanding contribution to forestry'  from John Chapman, RFS North Western Division Chairman, with RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd, right

Ian was nominated by the RFS North Western Division with a citation which stated: "He has worked on many large-scale, interesting and forward-thinking projects, wholeheartedly adopting the changing role of forestry.... Ian will always find ways to use any newly researched information by interpreting this into sound practical solutions in every day forestry applications. Common sense forms the backbone of his approach to forestry, and it is this that makes many of his projects a great success."

Ian, who will receive his award on 6 July at the Excellence in Forestry Awards event at Lotherton Hall Estate near Leeds, said: " Forestry, Silviculture and Arboriculture in all their forms have been more than just a job and more a way of life. Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to have had many excellent mentors who have taught me to think outside the box and not just about trees per se. It has been most rewarding to have been involved in large woodland projects throughout the North of England and satisfying to know that I have left a legacy which will live on long after me.’’

His career in forestry began at Newton Rigg College, where he obtained his diploma in forestry in 1982. After college he joined Lowther Estates and went on to become a director of Lowther Forestry Group Ltd.

He has an active interest in historic landscapes, is Chairman of the Ancient Tree Forum in Cumbria and is a trustee of the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group, promoting active red-squirrel conservation in The North Lakes and the Borders. He is also a former trustee and chair of The Woodland Education Programme (WEP), a former chairman of the RFS North Western Division and a past chairman of Cumbria FWAG.

Ian’s contribution to the Lowther Park restoration was a major undertaking, requiring in depth historical and silvicultural research. His many achievements include winning the RFS Gold Medal for the Whinfell Holiday Park and the establishment of a native woodland creation scheme in the Winster Valley, overlooking Windermere.

The Sylva Trophy, is donated by Patrick Evelyn, a direct descendent of John Evelyn, author of the seminal 17th century ‘Sylva or a Discourse of Forest-trees and the propagation of Timber’. It is presented annually to recognise a person or organisation who in the opinion of the RFS has made an outstanding contribution to forestry in its broadest sense.