TRIBUTES have been paid to a woodland expert who spent almost half a century with the Forestry Commission and went on to become a member of the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

Harry Oram, who has died aged 70, grew up in Eastleigh and first saw the Forest during day trips in the 1950s.

He joined the Forestry Commission, now Forestry England, in 1965 and over the following 46 years held a number of posts across the UK.

The chairman of the NPA, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said members were "deeply shocked" to learn of Mr Oram's death.

He added: "Harry was a highly respected, popular and much valued member of the Authority and his lifetime’s experience of the importance of the role that forestry has played over the centuries was invaluable.

"He was always so generous with his time and delighted in sharing his great personal knowledge of the Forest he loved so much.

"He leaves a huge gap in our ranks."

Fellow NPA member David Harrison added: "Harry had unrivalled knowledge of forestry, having spent a lifetime managing forests in different parts of the country before settling here in the New Forest, where he was a pillar of the community and had an absolute heart of gold."

Several people have paid tribute to Mr Oram on social media.

Former NPA member Penny Jackman said: He was a lovely man who was incredibly knowledgeable and really cared about the Forest. He made a huge contribution, first as a forester and more recently as a member of the National Park Authority."

Another post on social media said: "Harry was such a kind, caring man who always had time to talk or pass the time of day. Such a huge loss to the New Forest."

Mr Oram joined Brockenhurst Parish Council in 2003 and was chairman of the amenities and infrastructure committee.

According to the council he moved to Brockenhurst in 1989 and lived on a smallholding in the village with his wife Karolina and son Mieszko.

This story first appeared in the Daily Echo.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year - or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.