Rik started his forestry career in the Lake District, working in a tree nursery, large estates and contracting companies, learning the required skills ‘on the tools’.
He studied silviculture at the National School of Forestry, Newton Rigg, near Penrith before moving to the southeast and was employed by Economic Forestry Group, a large forest management company, where he worked his way up to area manager.
He then moved to their landscape subsidiary, Genkirk Ltd, to help develop and expand their activities. However he soon realised that he would rather be in the forest, as opposed to the urban environment and left to create his own forestry contracting and consulting company Chiltern Forestry Ltd. He ran this single-handedly for several decades, with a wide range of clients including large traditional estates, small woodland owners and corporate companies.
In 2016, Chiltern Forestry merged with Maydencroft and Rik continues to work with the Maydencroft team, spending more time in the woods and less time in the office.
Rik has worked in the Baltics and sub contracted to Oxford University on several European research projects. He has been chairman or committee member for various groups including the Royal Forestry Society (Oxon-Bucks division), Confederation of Forest Industries (CONFOR) and The Continuous Cover Forestry Group.