Britain’s forests and woodlands are a vital part of the country’s beauty and industry and so requires important conservation work to ensure it is used sustainably for future generations to enjoy. Every year, the Kent County Agricultural Society recognises those who have shown dedication and commitment to the county’s forests and woodlands.

The Edward Hardy Trophy for outstanding service to the forestry and woodland industry in Kent over many years was this year awarded to Frankie Woodgate. For over 20 years, Frankie has been responsible for increasing the profile of environmentally friendly woodland management with special emphasis on horse drawn timber extraction.

The CLA Trophy is awarded to an individual or organisation in recognition of outstanding service to the forestry and land management in Kent over many years. This year’s recipient is Sam Bower for his work in saving more than nine hectares of ancient woodland after developments to two major roads threatened their existence.

The R.D Keeler Trophy is awarded to a young individual based in Kent for outstanding achievements within their learning and study of woodland and forestry related subjects. George Hayes received this award for his work as part of the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme and at Wadhurst Park.

He is currently employed at Balfour Beattie as Ecology and Arboriculture Technical Specialist

R.D Keeler Trophy – George Hayes

George was one of the original Kent Woodland Employment Scheme apprentices, and was one of a handful to complete three years of forestry and woodland management training, leaving a few weeks before KWES’s  demise to take a prestigious position at Wadhurst Park. Wadhurst Park is a private estate on the high weald managed for conservation and wildlife.