His parent’s house was on Benefield Road, but after their separation Robert grew up primarily with nearby relatives on Stoke Doyle Road. During his school years at Oundle Primary School and Oundle’s former secondary school on South Road, Robert kept a small herd of goats in a family-owned field by Barnwell Bridge, which would later become the location of his business.
After leaving school in the late 1960s he worked on a farm to save money for a trip to Australia, accompanied by a friend. He travelled and worked his way across the world before returning to England, where he settled back in Oundle and began his career in forestry.
For a short time he found employment driving delivery trucks, however he quickly realised that his true passion lay in forestry work. Throughout his career he worked on large scale projects, including extensive felling and clearing of land at Rutland Water and Burghley House, as well as countless smaller, local projects.
He suffered serious injuries including a broken neck after an accident involving a falling piece of wood, forcing him to temporarily stop his work. After taking over a year to recover, he recommenced his woodcutting business and forestry work, and continued right up until the day he died.
Peter Glassey, Head of Forestry at Burghley Park and Gardens remembers him as ‘a meticulous timber feller and without a doubt, the best I have ever seen in my 30 odd years in forestry’.
In tribute to Robert’s career, Peter Glassey has decided to dedicate a tree in memory of Robert, which is soon to be planted in the park at Burghley House.
Robert met his wife Elaine at a farm in Dunchurch, Warwickshire, and in 1974 they moved briefly into Kingstorpe Lodge before relocating to West Street, which would remain their family home for over 40 years.
Robert Limmage died in September 2015, and is survived by his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Claire.
By Ruby Goodall