Three foresters – one from Sussex and two from Yorkshire – are among the latest to be recognised by the Royal Forestry Society for their long careers improving and maintaining woodlands. In East Sussex, Ray Latter received a Long Service Award (LSA) in recognition of his work over 34 years’ maintaining and developing woodlands on the Beech Estate.
Ray, 65, has worked for three generations of the Wills family who own the estate. Current owner Harry Wills says: “Ray has played an important role in managing and maintaining our beautiful woods. He has always done a job properly to ensure a high-quality end product and we thank him wholeheartedly for his excellent efforts and loyalty over his long working life. He continues to be an important part of the team.”
In Yorkshire, John Taylor from the Parlington Estate received his LSA after 50 years with the estate. John, 86, lives in Boston Spa and now supervises two subsequent generations of his family working on the estate.
Estate woodlands adviser Andrew Woods said: “It is rare to enjoy working with someone who has applied consistent and uninterrupted high standards for as long as 50 years. The woodlands reflect his expert touch.
Timothy Tollis, Working Forest Manager at the Duncombe Park Estate, in Yorkshire received an award after 30 years of service.
He has also been secretary and chairman of the ICF Regional Committee and says: “At Duncombe Park I have, under the ownership of Lord Feversham and subsequently his son the Hon. Jake Barnaby Duncombe and the Estate Manager Ian Saggers FRICS, overseen the transition of estate woodlands from one that was fundamentally timber producing to an UKWAS Certified forest that supports the estate’s wide-ranging activities from outdoor events, field sports and public access while still producing quality timber.
“The changing economic climate plus the predominance of PAWS on the estate has led me to instigate a policy of change from clear fell/replant to one of continuous cover using the woodland’s prolific natural regeneration. Along the way I have learnt that careful observation of what is going on in the woods is an important part of cost/revenue control.
“The SSSI designation and subsequent National Nature Reserve agreement has led me into the world of nature conservation and arboriculture and enabled me to see the tree as an individual as well as a plantation crop. This has given me the opportunity to serve as long term ‘apprentice’ to the estate’s consultant professional Arborist (Luke Steer) and to enjoy a fruitful liaison with Natural England (David Clayden) – I still can’t name a beetle or bird but have a pretty good idea of what they like!”