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Awards for foresters who have shaped Estate woodlands
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RFS President Nicholas Halsey, left, presents Cottesbrooke Estate forester Brian Davies with his award

Date Issued: 01 March 2012


Two foresters who between them have more than 66 years of experience working on estates in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire have received awards from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS).

The long service awards to Brian Davies of the Cottesbrooke Estate in Northamptonshire and to Keith Hollinshead of the Buckminster Estate in Leicestershire recognise the skill and knowledge these RFS members have acquired in developing estate woodlands over more than three decades, and their on-going work.

Presenting the awards at a Spring meeting of the RFS Midlands Division at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, RFS President Nicholas Halsey said: “The work of lifetime foresters like Brian and Keith is at the heart of successful forestry. Their dedication, skills and knowledge have helped shape woodlands for our own and future generations, and their enthusiasm helps inspire the future foresters who are so vital to our industry.”

At the Cottesbrooke Estate, forester Brian Davies’ work has not only benefited the Estate woodlands, but it has added value to the village environment.

Brian began work on the Estate in 1977. In the late 1970s and early 80s he transplanted the flowering cherry trees that now line the roadsides running though the village of Cottesbrooke. He also helped to plant the lime avenue which forms one of the main vistas from Cottesbrooke Hall looking east towards Brixworth church.

The Cottesbrooke Estate has always aimed to rejuvenate its woodland and over the past five years more than 11 hectares of new woodland has been planted. The 153 hectares of woodland on the Estate is principally small amenity blocks. Many were laid out as fox coverts in the 19th century, and consist mainly of mixed broadleaves, although more recently small amounts of conifers have been planted alongside.

Recently, the Estate completed a 20-year management plan and will continue to undertake an ambitious work programme, building on Brian’s work.

Cottesbrooke Estate owner, Alastair Macdonald-Buchanan said: “Brian has always been an extremely conscientious worker and everything he undertakes is always carried out to a very high standard.

“Although he has reached 65 years of age, he has chosen to carry on working; a decision I am delighted he has taken, as I know the care of the woodland at Cottesbrooke will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.”

At the Buckminster Estate, forestry foreman Keith Hollinshead joined the Estate the day after Boxing Day 1979 as a general estate and forestry worker, and rose to become the forestry foreman in 1988.

The estate’s 303 hectares of woodland range from semi-natural woodland through to modern day plantations. In his early years at the estate, Keith’s main projects included planting shelter belts and woods for shooting purposes, and these days he is now carrying out the subsequent thinning works!

Working on the Estate has become a family affair. Among Keith’s team of three foresters is his son Paul, while daughter Caroline works in the farm office and his wife Joan works at Buckminster Park.

The Estate’s resident agent, Roger Stafford, says: “Keith has always been on hand to advise and assist on any estate matters. His knowledge of the Estate is immense and he is a vital cog in the estate machine.”

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RFS President Nicholas Halsey, left, presents Keith Hollinshead with his award

RFS President Nicholas Halsey, left, presents 
Buckminster Estate forestry foreman Keith Hollinshead 
with his award