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The widow of a man who was posthumously honoured for his outstanding contribution to forestry in Wales spoke of the family’s pride as she collected the coveted Ian Forshaw Memorial Medal.
Fiona Campbell received the award, which is made biannually to commemorate the former Director of Forestry Commission Wales who died suddenly in September 2007, on behalf of her late husband, Peter Campbell.
Peter, of Pentrefelin, Llandeilo, was an inspirational figure throughout the industry in Wales before his untimely death at just 51 – almost a year to the day before his widow accepted the award from Jon Owen Jones, chair of Forestry Commission Wales’s national committee.
Mrs Campbell said, “Peter would have been incredibly proud to be nominated by his professional colleagues.
"All the family are extremely proud that he has been honoured in this way. On the day before the anniversary of his death, hearing that his peers thought so highly of him has made a difficult time more bearable.”
Peter completed a forestry degree at Bangor University, but his rise to become one of the most respected figures in Welsh forestry followed an unconventional path – via tours of duty with the Army in such places as Northern Ireland, West Germany and the Falklands.
He attained the rank of Captain with the Royal Artillery before leaving to join Fountain Forestry in the Herefordshire Marches, eventually being asked to set up a satellite office in west Wales in 1994.
Peter managed a commercial portfolio of forests across south-west Wales, with the odd exception in both mid and north Wales, and six years later set himself up as a sole practitioner in Ffairfach, Llandeilo.
In his spare time he enjoyed nothing more than collecting and propagating seed from both home and abroad, but his great love was his purchase of what he always maintained was the woodland which featured in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, near the village of Llangathen, Llandeilo.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s Peter actively encouraged and shared his experience with people who were considering becoming a forester, many of whom went on to study woodland management and/or set up their own businesses.
During his time with Fountain Forestry, he formed an informal West Wales Foresters’ Society, which met on a quarterly basis to share experiences.
Chris Botting who, along with Carl Bridges, nominated Peter for the award, said, “Peter’s willingness to give rather than receive, linked to his phenomenal knowledge about all things (not just woods and trees), engendered a huge respect for a person to whom you knew you could always turn to for advice and friendship.
“His untimely loss to his family, friends, fellow foresters and the wider forest industry deserves to be acknowledged as a person who was a true exponent of everything that Ian was himself.”
The Ian Forshaw Memorial Medal, which also carries a cash prize of £500, is presented to the person, group or business which best embodies the qualities of excellence and innovation that Ian brought to forestry in Wales.
The nominations were judged by Forestry Commissioner Judith Webb and the Director of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Harry Fetherstonhaugh.
Peter Campbell passed away in Tŷ Bryngwyn Hospice in Llanelli on 20 July 2010, after a valiant battle against throat cancer.
Caption: Fiona Campbell with the Ian Forshaw Memorial Medal, pictured with Royal Welsh Show Assistant Honorary Director Forestry, Roger Nock (left), and Forestry Commissioner for Wales, Jon Owen Jones.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
The Ian Forshaw Memorial Medal was created as a lasting legacy to Ian’s significant and wide ranging contribution to forestry, especially during his time in Wales.
The judges look for people, groups or businesses in Wales which:
• made a difference to the woodlands, forestry activity/sector of the timber industry
• brought distinction to and enhanced the reputation of forestry, the timber industry or woodlands
• demonstrated innovation and/or entrepreneurship
• carried the respect of their peers.
For more details on the medal, contact Geralene Mills on 0300 068 0300, e-mail: email@example.com.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email firstname.lastname@example.org