A long-serving Staffordshire gamekeeper has received a special award from the CLA after clocking up half a century of service on the same estate.
Ken Butler of the Sandon Estate has become one of just a handful of gamekeepers from throughout the country to earn a CLA Long Service Medal in recognition of 50 years' service to the profession.
Ken worked for Lord Nelson of Stafford until 1992 when he became a director of Sandon Pheasants Ltd, which now manages the shoot and a game farm on the estate. He has organised shooting days for four generations of Lord Nelson of Stafford and was a founder member of the National Gamekeepers Organisation, where he held the post of national chairman from 2000 to 2006.
Ken was nominated for the award by his wife Jean who, along with their two children, is part of the Sandon Pheasants management team.
Commenting on his award, Ken said: "I feel very honoured to be presented with this award. I have enjoyed every minute of my 50 years at Sandon and am particularly proud that the shoot is now a real family affair with my wife and children."
The award was presented to Ken by CLA President Harry Cotterell, at The CLA Game Fair, Ragley Hall near Alcester, Warwickshire.
Harry Cotterell said: "Ken has put decades of sterling service into the countryside and is a credit to his estate and local community for the role he plays in contributing to the rural economy and looking after the beautiful Staffordshire landscapes."