TWO long-standing members of the forestry team of Zetland Estates in North Yorkshire have been recognised for more than 80 years’ service between them. 

Shaun Purkiss-McEndoo and Richard Teasdale have been acknowledged for their service to both the estate and woodland management, improving its safety and quality, for conservation of the landscape, timber production and as a habitat.

Born and bred in Richmondshire, Shaun and Richard, now both aged 58, began working for Zetland Estates in the summers of 1979 and 1980 respectively, joining the estate team as general woodmen. At that time, the forestry team still used bill hooks and axes, with only one very heavy chainsaw – by today’s standards – between the five of them.

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Shaun, now head forester, came up with the idea to use timber from the estate for a biomass heating solution installed 15 years ago. The estate is now producing timber again from the first area cleared back in 2006.

Over 100 hectares of new woodland have been created on the estate, testament to Shaun’s hard work and dedication over the last 40 years. Silver Hill, the largest at 47 hectares, was planted in 2020 and is made up of conifer trees. The projects have raised around 23,000 tonnes of carbon credits.

Since joining the estate in 1980, Richard, a rider of motorbikes in his younger days and an avid fan of F1 and Ferrari cars, has worked in or around every inch of the estate’s woods, often on his own. 

Originally using a Fordson Major, which had no cab or suspension on the seat, Richard and the team now use a state-of-the-art Valtra tractor to deliver woodchip.

Recently, the forestry team has been part of a community woodland project to mark the 950th celebrations of Richmond, which has seen residents born in 1921 and every decade in between plant a tree at Rufus Woods.

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For both men, it has been their only employment in their lifetime, and during each of their 40 years’ service the two foresters have worked for three generations of the Dundas family.

Shaun said: “I consider myself very lucky to have walked into a life of work on Zetland Estates. They continue to be a pleasure to work for. Forestry and working outdoors; when you tell people that’s your job, 99 per cent of the time they wish they could be doing it. That says it all.”