FOREST craftsmen from the Forestry Commission's West Devon team were honoured for their long-term contributions to local forestry excellence, at the Devon County Show. John Durrant, Rodney Brock and Len Martin received their Long Service Awards from Sir

FOREST craftsmen from the Forestry Commission's West Devon team were honoured for their long-term contributions to local forestry excellence, at the Devon County Show.John Durrant, Rodney Brock and Len Martin received their Long Service Awards from Sir John Cave, president of the Devon County Agricultural Association. The Long Service Award from the Devon County Agricultural Association, recognises employees with more than 30 years' service in Devon's agricultural, horticultural and forestry fields. John Durrant, the longest serving member of the team joined the Commission in 1962, and has been responsible for the general maintenance and stewardship of the forest. John has lived in the Holsworthy area his whole life and by the time he retires will have given 49 years of service to the Forestry Commission.Rodney Brock joined the Forestry Commission in 1965 and also works as a Forest Crafsman and Len Martin held a similar role until last year when he retired.Commenting on his years at the Forestry Commission John Durrant said: "During my time I have seen so many changes in forestry. When I first worked in the Halwill district there was a gang of around 50 men working together and it felt a bit like being in the army with very strict discipline. "Over the years the introduction of machinery completely changed the way things were done and there is now only two of us forest craftsmen in the area! On the whole I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in forestry. I was brought up nearby and love spending time in the countryside. I have also had the pleasure of working with a great bunch of people."Rodney Brock said: "Having lived and worked near Holsworthy all my life I know the area like the back of my hand. The job has been tough at times over the years but I have enjoyed my work and look forward to continuing."Martin Webb, area Forester for West Devon said: "I am delighted that John, Rodney and Len have been recognised in this way. They have all given years of loyal service and hard work to the Forestry Commission and to the general public. Forests require careful management and our workforce are highly skilled individuals. We appreciate the contribution that all three have made.