A FORESTER who has spent more than four decades caring for England's woodlands has been given the royal seal of approval. 

Forest craftsperson Lawrence Langton was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the industry in the King's Birthday Honours. 

Having entered forestry as part of a gang in Laughton Forest in 1978, he has since played his part in planting trees and creating woodlands, including a Millennium Wood in 2000. Lawrence also helped restore and develop the Lincolnshire Lime Woods, which date back to the 11th century. 

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A well-respected Forestry England colleague and an inspiration to many people, he professionally mentors apprentices and volunteers in the local community, so schoolchildren can learn about and care for trees and forests.

Lawrence, 61, said: “I was completely shocked when the letter arrived saying I had the honour. 

“I have been working in forestry since 1978 and love being a craftsperson at Forestry England. 

"I’ve seen many changes over the years and had the pleasure of working with some great people in the forests as well as in the local community. 

“I’m very proud to get the BEM and want to thank everyone for their support.”

Elsewhere, Gareth Boswell Browning, 57, is to be made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Forestry and Nature Recovery.

READ MORE: 'Rewilding' visionary recognised for his transformative efforts with MBE

He is the visionary and practical driving force behind Cumbria's Wild Ennerdale Project for the Forestry Commission. For many years this innovative project, which in October 2022 was formally declared a National Nature Reserve, defied convention and challenged land management practices on a landscape scale across 3,000 hectares of the Ennerdale Valley in the Lake District.

Gareth said: “I'm blown away by the honour, it is such a surprise I'm still getting used to the idea.

"It's been a real privilege to be able to look after the Ennerdale valley with our partners in Wild Ennerdale.

Forestry Journal: Gareth has overseen nature recovery in Ennerdale ValleyGareth has overseen nature recovery in Ennerdale Valley (Image: DrewRawcliffe)

"Ennerdale has been a real inspiration to me and I'm humbled by the thought that others think I'm worthy of such an honour. I don’t know if other partners have received similar awards but would love it if there could be a group MBE award." 

Other forestry-related figures to receive honours include Jon Covey, tree nursery manager, trustee and treasurer, of the Moors Trees Charity, which is working to restore woodland in Dartmoor, and Geoffrey Cole, who was chairman of Birmingham Trees for Life. Both were given an OBE.