A long-serving Surrey gamekeeper has received a special award from the CLA.
Derek Beaven of the Hampton Estate Shoot at Seale, Farnham, has been presented with a CLA Long Service Award in recognition of more than 40 years' service to the profession on the same estate.
Derek joined the 2,000 acre Hampton Estate as a forester in 1972 but quickly turned his hand to gamekeeping later that same year when he took over as head keeper. Since that time he has successfully raised thousands of pheasants for a small syndicated shoot on the estate, before retiring earlier this year.
Derek said: "For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gamekeeper so I feel very fortunate that I have been able to make such a long and fulfilling career out of my passion. Achieving a CLA Long service Award has been a liong-held ambition and I am delighted to have achieved it."
Hampton Estate owner, Sir Richard Thornton, said: "Everyone who has taken part in a shoot at Hampton has said how much they enjoy shooting here, which is a reflection of the hard work and effort that Derek has put in over the years. The days were very well organised and David's beaters were always well trained."
The award was presented to Derek by CLA President Harry Cotterell at The CLA Game Fair, Ragley Hall near Alcester, Warwickshire.
Harry Cotterell said: "Derek has put decades of sterling service into the countryside and is a credit to his estate and local community for the role he has played in looking after the unique Surrey landscapes."