A century of Yorkshire achievement to create one of Britain’s best woodlands has been recognised by a prestigious award.

The Royal Forestry Society outstanding contributions cup has gone to the two families involved in Ryedale’s Hovingham Estate over four generations.

The families, headed by estate owner Sir William Worsley and Forest Manager David Brown, have been presented with the Sylva Cup 2014.

It follows the award five years ago of the RFS Duke of Cornwall Award for Multipurpose Forestry.

Hovingham’s woodlands revival began in 1897 when agent Bingley Day persuaded the Worsley family to start plantation forestry.

The woodlands, which once provided a quarter of the estate’s income, had been in decline since the 1850s invention of iron ships led to slumping timber prices.

In 1913, a young Chatsworth-trained forester Robert Brown became the first of four generations to be appointed head forester.

Working with four generations of Worsleys, he was succeeded by his son John, then his grandson Alec and then his great-grandson, the current Forest Manager, David.

Sir William said: “The woods at Hovingham have always been an important part of the estate and as they stand today are a tribute to the partnership between the Browns and the Worsleys who have worked closely for over one hundred years.”