LORD Montagu has paid tribute to a man who worked on the Beaulieu Estate for almost half a century.

Timber-cutter Peter Biffin, who has died aged 74, worked in agriculture before joining the estate as a 17-year-old woodsman in 1961.

He continued to work on the estate until he retired in 2008.

Lord Montagu said: “Peter was the very image of a forester - tall, lean, upright and strong – and almost always had a broad smile.

“As someone who must have worked in every area of the estate’s woodlands through the decades, I think it is safe to say Peter’s legacy will endure into the 22nd century.

“I will particularly remember him for his consideration of birdlife.

“If he spotted a nest in a tree which was due to be felled he would make sure it was spared, at least until after the nesting season had passed. The mark of a considerate man.”