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Daniel Trevarthen, Duchy of Cornwall Restormel Estate

Ernie Fry, Balcombe Estate


50 years

Nigel Kendell, Duchy of Cornwall Restormel Estate


40 years

Clive Boniface, Balcombe Estate

Sandy Lewis, Balcombe Estate

Nicholas Martin, Balcombe Estate 

Mark Napper, Balcombe Estate


30 years 

Russell Law, Balcombe Estate

Keith Pike, Clifford Estate, Devon

Daniel Roy Trevarthen, Duchy of Cornwall Restormel Estate 

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Pictured from the left, Balcombe Estate’s woodsmen: Sandy Lewis, Nicholas Martin, RFS Past President Sophie Churchill OBE, owner Mrs Greenwood, Mark Napper, Ernie Fry, owner Mr Greenwood, Russell Law and Clive Boniface. See details below


 248 years and counting - the Balcombe six 

Six woodsmen from the Balcombe Estate, Haywards Heath have received Royal Forestry Society awards in recognition of their astonishing 248 years of experience and knowledge managing and improving the estate’s 500ha of woodland.

The awards were presented by RFS Immediate Past President Sophie Churchill OBE when the RFS  South Eastern Division visited the estate’ to see its growing and processing of timber. Awards went to:

Clive Boniface, 63, a great all rounder particularly known for his coppicing of sweet chestnut and thinning plantations. Over the last 44 years he has improved no end of the estate’s woodlands with his work is second to none.

Ernie Fry, 73, who has worked in both the woods and the sawmill over the past 40 years. With his ready smile he has mastered the controls of a timber crane and continues to extract timber from the woodlands.

Russell Law, 53, is the main tractor driver for the forestry department, hauling timber on the MB TRAC, hedgecutting and running the wood chip enterprise.  He joined the estate straight from school as a YTS worker 37 years ago.

Sandy Lewis, 75, has worked for the estate for 43 years. He drove the Volvo forwarder in the post 1987 storm clearance operations and controlled grey squirrels until Warfarin was removed from forest use. These days he prunes Christmas trees and maintains footpaths on the estate. Sandy was the son of the estate’s former head gamekeeper Jack Lewis and his brother Kendrick was the head forester for 50+ years.

Nicholas Martin, 65, received his medal for 43 years’ service. He operated a Hymac/Tapio harvester throughout the clear-up operations after the 1987 storm and is particularly noted for his large hardwood tree felling abilities. A great woodsman, Nick ‘encouraged’ natural regeneration in many a woodland area by spreading acorns around during his lunch breaks!

Mark Napper, 56, is an all rounder whose ability with a brushcutter is second to none, the only thing that slows him down is the machine itself! Phenomenally strong, Mark is your man if you need something pushed, pulled or lifted out of the way! He has worked on the estate for 41 years

Owned by the Greenwood family, the Balcombe Estate woodland has a long history of management with an emphasis on managing for both country sports and timber production. Situated in the high weald the estate also aims to maintain the landscape characteristics of this AONB.

Clifford Estate Head Forester: 36 years' service 

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Keith Pike, centre, receives his award from RFS President Andrew Woods, left, and The Honourable Alexander Cliffor Keith Pike at work! 

Head of Forestry at the Clifford Estate’s Ugbrooke Park, Chudleigh, Devon, Keith Pike, from Newton Abbot, was presented with a medal for 36 years’ service when the RFS Whole Society Meeting visited the Clinton Devon Estate.

He had joined the estate when he was 16 and now runs a team of three. During his time on the estate he has dealt with the after effects of the great storms of 1987 and implemented the Parkland Restoration Plan drawn up in 1993 to restore the landscape of Ugbrooke Park to the form and extent shown in the historic Capability Brown plans.

Keith has worked closely with both the 14th Lord Clifford and in the last three years with his son, The Honourable Alexander Clifford, who said: “Keith is incredibly dedicated and it is obvious that he lives and breathes his job and the wellbeing of the estate.”

Duchy trio receive awards 

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Awards presentation, from left: RFS President Andrew Woods, Nigel Kendell, Daniel and Daniel Roy Trevarthen and Duchy of Cornwall Head Forester Geraint Richards  At work: From left, son and father Daniel Roy and Daniel Trevarthen  Relaxing away from work: Nigel Kendell 

When the RFS Whole Society Meerting visited the Duchy of Cornwall Restormel Estate, a three-strong team received recognition: Nigel Kendell from Truro, a Forestry Contractor who has worked for the Duchy in various capacities for nearly 55 years received a medal; Daniel Trevarthen of St Austell, (48 years' service) added a bar to an existing RFS medal, while his son Daniel Roy also from St Austell (34 years' service) received a medal.

For Nigel, there is immense pride looking back over half a century at seeing small conifer plants he had put into bare ground now mature and standing tall at Arrallas Drive.

He says: “I came to join the forestry team after helping my father who was a firewood contractor felling firewood for the Duchy. I was at Ladock Wood with my father when the then head forester, Mr Jim Duguid, asked if I would like to join the Duchy team on a month’s trial and here I am 55 years later

“For the last few years my daughter Kate has been helping me with the planting and weeding.

“I have enjoyed many aspects of the job, one of the highlights is having the honour of meeting Prince Charles.”