Monday, 15 September 2014

Leeds forester receives Royal Forestry Society Award

Sent on behalf of the Royal Forestry Society.

Caption: Jonathon Lester (left) receives his award from the Royal Forestry Society Yorkshire Division chairman David Carter.

Chevin Forest Park head forester, Jonathon Lester, has received an award from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) in recognition of 42 years of excellence in woodland management.

Jonathon, 59, from Weston Crescent, Otley, joined the Leeds City Council's parks department forestry team as an apprentice in 1971 and by 1985 had been promoted to head forester at Chevin Forest Park, which achieved a Centre of Excellence award in 1994. More recently, under Jonathon’s stewardship, Chevin Forest Park has secured Green Flag awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The park was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1989 in recognition of its wealth of wildlife, including the green hairstreak butterfly and woodcock.

The award was presented to Jonathon by RFS Yorkshire Division Chairman David Carter.

David explained:

"The specialist knowledge of foresters like Jonathon is vital to ensure that woodlands are well managed and thrive now and for future generations. Chevin Forest Park is a fine example of how Leeds City Council is using good woodland management to develop woodlands that benefit the local community and the local wildlife. Woodlands that are not managed effectively can quickly loose their integrity and become overgrown and ultimately are of less value for wildlife and the production of timber."

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for cleaner, safer and stronger communities said:

"I would like to congratulate Jonathon on his Royal Forestry Society Award. Jonathon is one of our longest serving members of parks staff and is a credit to the council and his profession. Jonathon continues to do an excellent job at Chevin Forrest Park ensuring the woodlands are well kept for the local community to enjoy."

Notes for editors

•The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) is an educational charity and one of the oldest membership organisations for those actively involved in woodland management. For information on the RFS go to
•The RFS believes managed woodland enhances habitat diversity, better conserves plant life and other wildlife which depends on a rich woodland flora and better protects trees from pests and diseases

For further information contact
Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team
Tel: 0113 247 4450


Wendy Necar,
RFS Communications Officer,
07973 523168, email
Twitter: @royal_forestry

Joined up community activity making a difference for Armley

Teams from across Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and the Home Office joined up to offer advice and support to communities in Armley this week as part of work tackling ‘rogue landlords’.

The operation was undertaken using funding secured from government following a successful joint bid made by WYFRS and the council. Leeds Council’s neighbourhood team carried out 14 inspections of flats to identify problems such as lack of fire detection equipment, risks of entrapment in the event of a fire, poor heating and insulation and electrical hazards.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel said:

“I would like to thank everyone who took part and committed resources to yesterday’s multi-agency event on Armley Town Street. The conditions found in some of the flats during the event again confirmed that we were right to target these premises and the multi-agency approach helped provide a wider impact on Armley Town Street by giving support and advice to businesses while addressing a range of other issues in the area.”

As a result of the inspections formal action will now be taken against the landlords and an emergency prohibition order was served on one flat preventing its use due to the risk of entrapment in the event of fire.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Executive Member for Cleaner, Safer and Stronger Communities said:

“These actions are really showing the value of teamwork. The food safety team visited 15 food businesses, resulting in three new food business operators being identified and enforcement action being taken against a further eight businesses because of conditions found at their premises.“

The activity is part of a range of multi-disciplinary visits planned throughout the city to improve safety, reduce anti-social activity and offer advice to businesses, landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities.


Please further information, please contact
Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736