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Award for Rockingham Castle Estate Head Forester
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Brian Lewin (centre) receives an RFS Long Service Award from RFS President Anthony Bosanquet, right, watched by Rockingham Castle owner James Saunders Watson, left.

Date Issued: 27 February 2011


Rockingham Castle Estate’s Head Forester Brian Lewin has received a Long Service Award from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) in recognition of his 54 years working on the estate. Brian started working on Rockingham farm, in Leicestershire, straight from school in 1954. He joined the Army in 1955 on National Service, and, while serving in the Royal Army Veterinary Corp, he successfully applied for a full-time post in the Rockingham Forestry Department, starting work after being discharged from the Army in 1957.

Brian was following in his father’s footsteps – “Winkie” Lewin was Head Forester on the Estate before Brian. And now Brian’s grandson, Gary Glover, is working with him.

Forestry and woodland management are an integral part of the Rockingham Estate and, over the years, Brian has planted thousands of trees, creating both new woods and replanting following felling operations. In 2006 he and his grandson, Gary Glover, planted 8,000 trees.

Aged 74, Brian lives on a cottage on the estate and still works four days a week.

Making the presentation during a visit by the RFS Midlands Division to Rockingham, RFS president Anthony Bosanquet said: “Not only is it wonderful for us to be celebrating more than 50 years of devoted service by Brian to the Rockingham Castle Estate and its forestry, but it is also highly remarkable that this record service extends to a full three generations of the Lewin family. Such personal knowledge, understanding and involvement in woodland management is of immense value to an estate.

“It so happens that in 1957, when Brian first started work at Rockingham, the Russians launched Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, but even in a world where ‘rocket science’ is all but taken for granted, there can be no substitute for the kind of individual dedication and loyalty that Brian Lewin exemplifies.”

Rockingham Castle owner James Saunders Watson said: “Brian contributes to the life of Rockingham is so many ways. He is our living encyclopaedia of knowledge of all aspects of the Estate over the last 55 years. He is the longest serving member of the Estate staff with a remarkable memory for detail, a memory that we call on regularly.

“During his long working life he has planted tens of thousands of trees at Rockingham. His understanding of trees is second to none and they are without doubt his great passion in life. He turns his hand to the many jobs that fall to him with enthusiasm and a smile. He epitomises the traditional countryman with interest in country life, the natural world, people and most of all his family.”