Long service awards for Cowdray foresters

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It was a proud day for two of Cowdray’s longest serving workers when they were presented with awards for a combined total of 70 years of service helping to look after woodland on the estate.

Cowdray foresters Clive Quinnell and Shaun Hyde received long service awards from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) last Wednesday (October 4).

President of the Royal Forestry Society, Sophie Churchill presented the accolades to Clive, who has worked in the woods department at Cowdray for 40 years, and Shaun, who has worked for Cowdray for 30 years.

The presentations took place during a meeting of the South-East division of the RFS at West Dean estate.

Cowdray’s chief executive officer, Jonathan Russell and forest manager Richard Everett attended the presentation along with many of the Cowdray woods team to see their colleagues honoured by the society.

Forest manager Richard Everett said: “Congratulations to Clive and Shaun on receiving this award.

“It’s great that their outstanding work at Cowdray has been recognised by the Royal Forestry Society.

“It has been a pleasure working with both Clive and Shaun, and their depth of knowledge about the woods and the local area is second to none. I look forward to continuing to work together to manage and enhance the estate’s woods”.

Projects that the Cowdray woods department have recently undertaken include the removal of rhododendrons from The Severals, a popular area for dog walkers to the west of Midhurst. “Rhododendrons are an invasive non-native plant that takes over the understory of the woodland and suppresses native ground flora,” said Mr Russell. “This work will have a significant impact on the woods, and over time the native flora and fauna will re-establish.

The team has also recently cleared defective trees and cut back a large amount of scrub and understory vegetation which was encroaching onto the road alongside the A272 near to another area popular with visitors at Benbow Pond.

The Cowdray Estate extends to about 16,500 acres, of which 36 per cent is woodland, three times the national average.

The woods on the estate were responsibly managed under a long-term management plan which ensured only a sustainable yield of timber was harvested, said Mr Russell.

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