After a degree at Wye College, University of London, Jim worked in New Zealand before returning to the UK to begin a career in sawmilling and forestry contracting, then moving into forest and land management in the private and voluntary sectors. He was able to enjoy challenging work roles and to develop some specialist capability in managing complex, multi-functional woodlands, in development and application of low-impact working methods and in meaningful and productive community engagement.
After twenty years in industry Jim joined Harper Adams University to teach forestry and forest products subjects to undergraduates. He also runs the postgraduate Forestry Management programmes, which he was responsible for developing from scratch some years ago. His time in education has enabled him to build links with many within the forest and woodland sector and to have a role in introducing large numbers of young people to forestry and forest products. Some have gone on to develop successful and significant careers within the commercial, voluntary and state forest sectors and he says he is fortunate to be able to maintain contact with many of them.
Jim recently finished a term as a member of Council of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and chairing the ICF Professional, Education and Scientific Committee. He continues to sit on the Woodland Trust’s Conservation Advisory Group. His particular interests are applied silviculture, woodland management for multiple products and outcomes and the development and support of viable wood and woodland-based enterprise. Jim also has an interest in direct seeding as an alternative means of forest and woodland establishment.