Howell is well known for his quest to find effective solutions to grey squirrel damage.
He has spent more than 50 years in forestry and woodland management consultancy. After studying at Aberdeen University he went on to work with Major Pilling, and together they founded West Midlands Woodlands which later became Abbey Forestry.
Howell, who lives in Great Witley, Worcestershire, retired from Abbey Forestry in 2000, but continues as an independent woodland management consultant.
He was president of the RFS from 1997-1999, is a member of The Institute of Chartered Foresters, Future Trees Trust and the European Squirrel Initiative.
His gold medal was presented by the RFS president Nick Halsey who said: "Bede Howell has been a towering figure in the forestry world for many decades. For those of us new to the industry in the 1960s and 1970s Bede’s name was synonymous with encouragement and sound advice, upon how to manage woods sustainably and profitably. This has continued throughout the careers of many foresters. At any meeting one attends, to see Bede’s cheerful countenance is a sure sign that not only will common sense prevail, but also controversy and good debate."
The RFS gold medal is awarded only rarely to recognise those people who have made an outstanding contribution to forestry in all its aspects, from theoretical research and practical silviculture to the production and use of wood and timber related products.