The awards were presented during a meeting of the RFS Southern Division at Stansted Park on the Hampshire/ Sussex borders by RFS president Anthony Bosanquet, who said:
"The presentation of Long Service Awards to people such as John, Derick and Ron is a moving and humbling occasion for all concerned, and a great privilege for any RFS President.
"In our 'here today, gone tomorrow' world, such dedication over such long periods of time is not only exceptional but also very special: I hope that it will be an inspiration to future generations of foresters."
Ron Patrick for 40 years service on the Bereleigh Estate in East Meon, Hampshire.
Patrick was born on the estate. His father worked on the farm and had himself received a Long Service Medal from the Duke of Edinburgh.
He originally worked as a student on the estate and then for the Southern Electricity Board (SEB) for a while, before offering his services to sort out Bereleigh’s woodlands in 1970.
Estate owner Bill Tyrwhitt- Drake said: "Since then, he has re planted most of Bereleigh woods and has created new plantations for shooting of over 50 acres in virgin farmland. The result is 12 new drives, positioned to provide testing birds on the Down’s natural terrain.
"Although officially retired, Ron is still working many days a week on the maintenance of the woodland, including squirrel control which is essential. May he enjoy good health for many years to come. "
John Rowe for 37 years service as Head Forester at Stansted Park on the Hampshire/Sussex borders
On leaving the army after the war, he went to the Killerton Estate in Devon for two years to gain practical experience before a further two years at the Forest of Dean Forestry School. He joined Stansted Park in 1951 as Head Forester for the Earl of Bessborough. In 1983, when the estate was gifted to the Stansted Park Foundation, John continued in the same role until retirement in 1988 and continues to live on the estate.
His major achievements include running a very successful estate sawmill and contract fencing business, and converting large areas of poor quality woodland denuded by felling in two world wars to attractive , productive forest.
Derick Stickler for 43 years service to The Crown Estate at Windsor.
He retired in March this year as The Crown Estate’s chief forester. His association with Windsor Estate started when he was just 16 and he spent the school summer holiday hand trimming young plantations.
Three years later, within a week of starting a teacher training course, he followed his heart and instead applied to a Forestry Commission Foresters School. At the age of 24 he started his career at Windsor as trainee forester and in 1991 was promoted to Head of Forestry.
In recent years, he says, the most satisfying and challenging piece of work for the whole department was the selection of larch trees followed by the production of timber for The Savill Building’s grid shell roof.
Stickler adds: "I feel that the forest is in good shape; environmentally focused whilst retaining a strong commercial capacity, in short, able to deliver its multipurpose function in the future. Despite the adoption of efficiency measures including extensive mechanisation, the forest remains in very good hands that are well equipped to keep things on target!"