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Trio receive awards at Great Yorkshire Show
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Dawnay foresters Ron Peacock, left, and David Milner celebrate

Date Issued: 28 July 2013


A forester who can trace his family back three generations on the Castle Howard Estate, and two foresters who between them have clocked up 88 years on the Dawnay estate in Scarborough, have received Long Service Awards from the Royal Forestry Society.

Nick Jeffery, 49, from Sheriff Hutton, is the fourth generation of his family to work on the Castle Howard Estate, following in the footsteps of his great grandfather (gardener), grandfather and father (gamekeepers and foresters). Nick is responsible for all the planting and woodland maintenance on the Estate’s 800 hectares of commercial woodlands which lie within the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). He has worked on the estate for 31 years.

Nick Cooke, Castle Howard Forest Manager, left, congratulates Nick Jeffery
Nick Cooke, Castle Howard Forest Manager,

left, congratulates Nick Jeffery

Castle Howard Estate Forest Manager Nick Cooke said: “Nick Jeffery’s intimate knowledge and love of the woods at Castle Howard have made a telling contribution to the long term sustainable management of the woodland on this Estate.”

David Milner and Ron Peacock have worked on the Dawnay Estate at Scarborough for 38 years and 46 years respectively, and are still working full time on the estate’s mixed coniferous and hardwood woodlands.

Ron, 71, who lives in Scarborough, was born on the estate. His grandfather had the tenancy of one of the estate farms and his father worked on that farm before becoming a cowman for the Estate farm. Ron’s first job on the Estate was in the spring of 1967 when he planted some larch trees which are now being felled.
David, 72, came from a farming background and lives in the village of Snainton. David is a dab hand at machine maintenance and carries out much of the specialist welding for the estate. One of the more interesting recent jobs was welding up the weather vane from the top of the main house, shot through by a previous occupant of Wykeham Abbey!

Forestry Estate Manager Matthew Noble said: “They are an invaluable part of the team. Their experience is hard to get these days and they can turn their hand to anything.”

Presenting the award at the Great Yorkshire Show, RFS President Elect, Sir Jack Whitaker, says: “The skills that are learned, honed and passed down over decades from forester to forester have helped shape our woodlands. As forestry faces increasing challenges from pests and disease this bank of expertise is vital to effective forestry management for the future.

"Such knowledge means that new management techniques and national best practice can be applied at a local scale in a way which is most appropriate for specific woodlands, encouraging those managing woodlands to make use of new and expanding market opportunities.”