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Forestry Commission employees from Devon with a combined total of 155 years service were honoured for their long-term contributions to local forestry excellence, at the Devon County Show on Friday 20 May.
Jimmy Mann, Malcolm Hill, David Powell and Simon Tremain received their Long Service Awards from Major Ranulf Rayner, president of the Devon County Agricultural Association.
The Long Service Award from the Devon County Agricultural Association recognises employees with more than thirty years’ service in the fields of Devon's agricultural, horticultural and forestry.
Jimmy Mann, the longest serving of the four joined the Forestry Commission on the 28 December 1968 in Hartland Forest, North Devon. He cut his teeth planting and tending crops before becoming a chainsaw operator. He progressed on to a supervisory role, dealing with timber dispatching until 1995 when he became the Area Forester for North Devon.
David Powell joined the commission in 1975 and during his career has worked on forest management, harvesting and marketing operations. He also spent five years as a supervisor working as part of the agreement between the Highways Agency and the Forestry Commission looking after roadside vegetation and tree planting throughout Devon and Cornwall. He also spent time studying, and achieved City and Guilds qualifications 1-4 in Forestry. His current role as Forest Works Supervisor for North and West Devon sees him work over a large area from the edge of Exmoor in the north to Lydford and Okehampton to the south.
Tractor Driver, Simon Tremain joined the Forestry Commission in 1973. He firstly worked with the harvesting and marketing team, mainly at Lydford Forest but also at Halwill where he got his first taste of mechanised harvesting driving the Siefer De-limber harvester and operating a skyline winch. Later he moved on to drive the Forestry Commission forwarder all over the Devon area but mainly in the forests of Dartmoor, Halwill and Hartland extracting timber from felling sites for transfer to UK markets. He now drives the Forestry Commission tractor, which operates across Devon.
Malcolm Hill is the Work Supervisor covering Dartmoor and Plym and began his Forestry Commission career in 1973. He joined as a chainsaw operator, which he did for around 15 years as part of a felling squad. Although it was hard work, Malcolm enjoyed his time in the squad and they all kept each other’s spirits up. In the late 80s Malcolm was trained to operate the Timberjack ground skidder and later the Timberjack ground preparation machine. In 2002 the job of supervisor on the Dartmoor beat came up and Malcolm successfully secured the job, which he has been doing ever since.
Commenting on his years at the Forestry Commission Jimmy Mann says:
“My 43 years with the Forestry Commission has been extremely rewarding. It has always been a wonderful working environment, and in many ways it has felt like being part of a family. I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment that myself and my colleagues show in looking after Devon’s forests – some of the most beautiful in the country. I have found being the Area Forester for North Devon extremely rewarding and relish the responsibility that the role brings. I was particularly proud to win another award at the Devon County Show, three years ago, for the work at Wistlandpound, a site near Barnstaple.”
For further information please contact Kirstie Smith, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission on 01392 834249.