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Celebrating 830 years of expertise
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2015 has been an extraordinary year of celebrations around the country as 23 of some of the UK's most experienced woodsmen and foresters have received Royal Forestry Society (RFS) awards for careers which have totalled well over 830 years.

They include three people who have received awards for more than 50 years service: David Peacock,  from Settrington Estate, Yorkshire;  Philip Read from Sotterley Estate, East Anglia and Brian Reece, Lydney Park Estate, Gloucestershire.

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Steven Harrison, Tim Day and Brian Reece receive their awards. Picture: Alan Jones

Also among those receiving awards were David Williams MBE, the RFS Honorary Warden, and two woodsmen, Meilir Lewis and Hywel Jones, whose work over 36, 34 and 35 years respectively has ensured the RFS Coast Redwoods and pinetum at Leighton in mid Wales has flourished.

Awards were presented though the year by Sir Jack Whitaker and Sophie Churchill who succeeded him as President. Sir Jack said: "These careers have helped to shape some truly magnificent woodlands and the skills and experiences of all those receiving awards can not be over valued.

" As an industry, forestry is growing and it is vital that we attract new people with the same sense of dedication and love for their work . So it is appropriate that, as we celebrate these careers, the RFS moves ahead with its Future Foresters programme, inspiring others to join the industry."

Others to have received awards were, 40 years: Stephen Bridges, Hertfordshire County Council; Tim Day, Bathurst Estate, Gloucestershire; Bill Dowson, Shotley Hall, County Durham; Brian Heath, Cowdray Estate,West Sussex; Alan Kavangh, Hutton Ambo Estate, Yorkshire; James Mitchell, Parham Estate, West Sussex; David Mortimer, Dodworth Estate,Yorkshire; Jeffery Nicholls, Curwen Woods Estate, Lancashire. 

30 years: Simon Apps, Cowdray Estate, West Sussex; Steven Harrison, Lydney Park Estate, Gloucestershire; Kerry Hill, Cowdray Estate, West Sussex; Donald Macdonald, Cowdray Estate, West Sussex; Stuart McDonough, Healey Estate, Northumberland; Richard Pepper, Cowdray Estate, West Sussex; George Ruddick, Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire; George Wargent, Alscote Estate, Warwickshire; Mark Worthington, Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire.

Further details on all those who received awards can be found here