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  •  Geoff Bagley Geoffbagley Longservice Crfs 190914 Pt
  •  Willey Estate
  •  60 Years

Forestry Manager Geoff Bagley, 75, who has lived on the Willey Estate all his life, is the third generation of his family to have worked on the estate woodlands - following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. He started work as an apprentice woodman at the age of 15 and was one of the youngest members of the team to be allowed to fell the "big trees". He has now notched up 60 years service! 

When Geoff started work on the estate there were over 30 woodmen - today the team is down to three and an apprentice. He says: “I have enjoyed working outside with the trees and watching them grow, but also seeing the changes and keeping up with mechanisation over the years. I have also found training up the youngsters incredibly rewarding.


  •  Mike Haywayd Mikehayward Longservice Crfs 190914 Pt
  •  Willey Estate
  •  40 years

Mike Hayward, 57, who lives in Broseley, started work at the age of 17 on the sawbench, and over the past 40 years he has become skilled in all aspects of forestry. His father also worked in the woods before working in the gardens at Barrow House where Mike, as a child, helped to mow the lawns.

Mike says he has enjoyed the challenge and variety but “most of all the peace and tranquillity of working outside in the woods.” 


  •  Jonathon Lester Jonathanlester Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  •  Chevin Forest Park
  •  40 YearsAward

Chevin Forest Park Head Forester, Jonathon Lester, has received an award from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) in recognition of 42 years of excellence in woodland management.

Jonathon, 59, from Weston Crescent, Otley, joined the Leeds City Council's Parks Department Forestry Team as an apprentice in 1971 and by 1985 had been promoted to Head Forester at Chevin Forest Park, which achieved a Centre of Excellence award in 1994. More recently, under Jonathon’s stewardship Chevin Forest Park has secured Green Flag awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013.


  • John Litman Planterjohn Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  •  Boughton Estate Timber Yard
  •  40 Years Award

A woodsman whose prolific planting of trees on the Boughton Estate in Northamptonshire has earned him the nickname ‘Planter John’ has received an award from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS). Over the past 46 years, John Litman, 64, from Geddington, has helped to restock and plant hundreds of hectares of woodlands on the estate, after initially joining the estate as an assistant on a pole wagon hauling timber into the estate sawmill.


  • Raymond Williams Raymondwilliam Longservice Crfs 120414 Pt
  • Vaenol Estate & Clynllifon College
  • 30 Years

In North Wales, Raymond Williams, 63, of Llanrug, near Caernarfon, received a Long Service Award for more than 31 years of working at Glynllifon College – a career which followed 15 years at Vaenol Estate. Raymond is responsible for the daily management of 148 hectares of woodlands within the park.






  • Norman Hutchinson Normanhutchinson Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  • Swinton Estate
  • 30 Years

In Yorkshire, Norman Hutchinson, 69, Head Forester at Swinton Estate, Ripon, received a Long Service Award for more than 30 years’ service on the estate. Before joining Swinton Estate, Norman had already worked for the Forestry Commission, Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Bedford Estates, Woburn, Whitbread Estate, and Southhill Park near Biggleswade – a forestry career spanning 50 years.

Norman is a long-standing member of the RFS and served on the committee of the Yorkshire Branch.


  • Shaun Purkiss Shaunpurkiss Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  • Zetland Estate
  • 30 Years

Shaun Purkiss, 50, left school at 16 to work in the estate’s forestry department and is now head of the department. He was presented with an Award for his 34 years’ service. During his time four biomass boilers have been installed on the Zetland Estates, powered thanks to sustainable management of estate woodlands.





  • Richard Teasdale
  • Zetland Estate
  • 30 Years

Richard Teasdale, 50, is a versatile cutter, tractor and forwarder driver and was recognised for 33 years’ service on the Zetland Estate. In the past six years he has delivered over 3500 tonnes of biomass woodchip to the estate’s boiler. He is a big advocate of conifer woodlands, a lover of bird life and, say his employers: “A perfect example of an estate woodman”.


  • Walter Start Walterstart Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  • Froyle Estate
  • 60 Years

A remarkable forester who managed the Froyle Estate woodlands in Hampshire for nearly 60 years until his death aged 88 has been honoured by the RFS. Walter Start, who lived in Lower Froyle, Alton, had also been involved in the management of forestry at Herriard Park and Rotherfield Park, and had served on numerous national and regional forestry committees, winning awards for his work both on the Froyle Estate and at Rotherfield Park.

The RFS Long Service Award had been approved before Walter’s death and was awarded posthumously to his family by RFS Southern Divisional immediate past Chairman Sir James Scott, whose woods Walter had also worked on in Rotherfield Park.


  • Brian LewinBrianlewin Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  • Rockingham Estate
  • 60 Years

Trees in his DNA! Rockingham Head Forester Brian Lewin, right, receives his award from RFS President Jack Whitaker

Two exceptional foresters who are true masters of their trade have been recognised by the Royal Forestry Society for their continuous work in woodlands over many decades. In Leicestershire, Brian Lewin, 79, has received an award after an astonishing 60 years working with Rockingham Estate woodlands.

Brian Lewin was born in 1935 and lives on Rockingham Estate. His father was Rockingham’s Head Forester. After National Service, Brian followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Estate’s team as a Woodsman, eventually becoming Head Forester himself as well as the Estate’s Head Keeper.


  • Tim Sheldon Timsheldon Longservice Crfs 120914 Pt
  • Hardwick Estate
  • 30 Years

In Oxfordshire, Tim Sheldon, 54, received an Award after 39 years working the woodlands on the Hardwick Estate near Whitchurch-on-Thames. Tim started work as a teenager in 1975, at a time when the Hardwick Estate woodlands had a reputation for high quality beech, ash and Douglas fir timber. As the estate’s senior woodsmen retired over the years, Tim took on greater responsibilities, and the emphasis for woodland management changed, reflecting the changing economic climate.