End of an era for Louth man Ray after 43 years at the Forestry Commission

Ray Smith was presented with a photograph of his favourite view by his colleagues at the Forestry Commission. Photo: Dianne Tuckett.
Ray Smith was presented with a photograph of his favourite view by his colleagues at the Forestry Commission. Photo: Dianne Tuckett.

A Louth man who has dedicated more than four decades to local woodland has been celebrated for his commitment at his retirement party.

Ray Smith first started working for the Forestry Commission in 1974 and over the years has taken on a number of roles.

It is a job he loved and that enjoyment could be seen in everything he did.

Wally Grice, who first worked with Ray in 1980, said: “Ray is a very giving person and is always prepared to help where needed - and always with a smile on his face.

“We have had a lot of work experience people through here and Ray has always been there to guide them - and they have always got on with him.

“We will miss him being around.”

Ray’s forestry colleagues - current and past - gathered together at the Rasen office on the edge of Willingham Woods to say thank you and present him with a large photograph of his favourite local view, as well as other gifts.

Ray, who also worked for 10 years as the union rep, said: “It has been a pleasure to work for the Forestry Commission.

“This really is a sad day for me - I am hoping I can maybe sneak back in for a few hours a week.”

Ray is looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren and will also continue to run an autistic group at Louth’s Trinity Centre.