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A Chartered Forester, James has worked for the Forestry Commission in a variety of roles including managing England's largest upland and lowland forests and overseeing grants and regulations in Scotland. He spent two years on secondment in Lesotho, southern Africa, as harvesting and marketing officer for the Lesotho Woodlot Project.

Currently Head of Social & Planning Policy with FC Scotland, he manages a team of advisors dealing with planning, community forestry, access, recreation & health and learning and skills development. His published books include Heritage Trees of Scotland.

James is fortunate to own and manage a small woodland in England. When not doing practical forestry he enjoys climbing mountains and is proud to hold a Rum Doodle club card.