Congratulations to James Lyon MBE, and Jonathan Spencer, MBE
James (Jim) Lyon, of Norton, pictured here, has been awarded an MBE for services to forestry and conservation. He retired last year after a 42 year career with the Forestry Commission which included managing Thetford Forest. The 62-year-old said: “I was not expecting it at all. My wife brought through a rather official looking letter, we opened it and we were delighted. “It was a really wonderful surprise.”
Mr Lyon started his career in Perthshire, Scotland, in forest management work. “I really started with no qualifications and it was the Forestry Commission which has given me all the professional qualifications for the job I ended up doing,” he said. After working across Scotland, he took on the role of forest management director for the East of England for 18 years before retiring in June.
Based in Santon Downham with a team of more than 120 people, he was responsible for 90 different forests, which made up 36,000 hectares, from The Wash all the way down to Brighton. At the heart of which was the 20,000 hectare Thetford Forest, which has ‘changed immensely’ in the last two decades.
Asked about his career highlights in the East, he said: “I’m particularly proud of the changes from a forest that was focused very much on timber production to one that now listens to people and communities. “We’ve been able to strike that wonderful balance between the demands of people but also the demands of wildlife and the habitats as well as being able to do all that within a working forest. It’s been the most wonderful career.”
He added that he was proud of the collaboration with the British Trust for Ornithology and the work with groups and organisations such as the Friends of Thetford Forest.
Congratulations to Jonathan William Spencer, Head of Planning and Environment, Forest Enterprise England, for services to woodlands, nature conservation and the environment (Winchester, Hampshire).
Read more about James Lyon at: Bury Free Press