THE county's infantry regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood For-esters, has a new colonel.

Col Jonny Hackett has taken over from Brigadier JP Weller. The 52-year-old won the Sword of Honour and Queen's Medal at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Sherwood Foresters, which merged with the Worcestershire Regiment in 1970 to form the Woofers.

Col Hackett has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Belize and Cyprus, attending Army Staff College in 1980.

Mentioned in dispatches when commanding the 1st Battalion in Northern Ireland, he returned there eight years ago as deputy brigade commander, in the role of colonel.

His present post is commandant of the Joint Arms Control Implementation Group.

A spokesman for the regiment said Col Hackett came from a long line of distinguished servicemen.

"Col Hackett's father, Brigadier Jimmy Hackett, was commissioned into the Sherwood Foresters, commanding the 2nd Battalion at Anzio in 1944. He was the last colonel of the Sherwood Foresters and the first of the amalgamated regiment.

"The family links go back to 1854 when Col Hackett's great-grandfather, Charles Parkinson, was commissioned into the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment, joining it at the siege of Sevastopol in 1855.

"He commanded the 95th in 1880, just prior to amalgamation with the 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment to form the Sherwood Foresters."

The Woofers, stationed in Chester, has its headquarters in Norton, near Worcester.

Col Hackett said he was delighted with his new post.

"I'm honoured to be following in my father's footsteps as Colonel of the regiment and to be keeping up a family tradition," he said.