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Anna Lawrence, BA, MSc, PhD

Head of the Social and Economic Research Group

Anna Lawrence


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Fax: +44 (0)300 067 5949

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Anna Lawrence combines a background in botany and forestry with social science. Following a degree in Natural Sciences (University of Cambridge and MSc in Forestry and its relation to land use (University of Oxford) she worked on social forestry projects in South America. She followed this with a PhD (University of Reading) on 'Tree-cultivation in upland livelihoods in the Philippines: implications for biodiversity conservation and forest policy’.

Anna has 20 years of experience in social forestry, and research into the cultural, social and political aspects of environmental management, in 23 countries.

She established and developed the Human Ecology Programme at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute during 2001-2007, where her research focused on participatory research for adaptive forest management; institutional change in forestry in post-socialist Europe; and organisational adaptiveness in the UK biodiversity action plan. This built up a focus on the roles of citizen science, emotion and culture in response to environmental change.

She moved to the Forestry Commission (Forest Research) in January 2008.

Anna is a Visiting Professor in the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, University of Wageningen, Netherlands.

Current role

Head of the Social and Economic Research Group

Responsible for strategic development and management of a our research programme on social benefits of trees woods and forests, and community and policy engagement.

Current programmes

Research areas

  • Community forestry
  • Participatory forest governance
  • Adaptive forest management
  • Learning organisations

Publications since 2000


Cover of Taking Stock of Nature bookTaking Stock of Nature: participatory biodiversity assessment for planning policy and practice.
Lawrence, A. (ed) (2010).
Cambridge University Press.

Participatory science for sustainable wild harvests - A methods handbook. Lawrence, A., Kinhal, G., Luintel, H., Star Molteno, S. & Gillett, S. (2007).
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.

CoverPlant identification: creating user-friendly field guides for biodiversity management.
Lawrence A. & Hawthorne W. (2006).
Earthscan, London. ISBN: 1 84407 079 4.

Forestry, forest users and research: new ways of learning
Lawrence A. (2000). (ed).
ETFRN, Wageningen, Netherlands / ANN-ETFRN, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-9501392-0-6.

Peer-reviewed papers

Lawrence, A. and Stewart, A. (2011). Sustainable forestry decisions: on the interface between technology and participation. Mathematical and Computational Forestry and Natural Resource Sciences 3(1): 42-52.

Morris, J., O’Brien, L,. Ambrose-Oji, B.A., Lawrence, A., Carter, C. and Peace A. (2011). Access for all? Barriers to accessing woodlands and forests in Britain. Local Environment 16 (4), pp. 375-376.

Buffum B., Lawrence A., Temphel K J. (2010). Equity in Community Forests in Bhutan. International Forestry Review 12(3): 187-199.

Selman, P., C. Carter, A. Lawrence and C. Morgan. (2010). Re-connecting with a Recovering River through Imaginative Engagement. Ecology and Society 15 (3): 18.

Menton, M.C.S., Anna Lawrence; Frank Merry; Nick D Brown (2010). Estimating natural resource harvests: conjectures? Ecological Economics. 69:1330-1335.

Lawrence, A. and Turnhout, E. (2010). Personal meaning in the public sphere: the standardisation and rationalisation of biodiversity data in the UK and the Netherlands. Journal of Rural Studies. 26: 353-360.

Petrokofsky, G. , Brown, N.D., Hemery, G.E., Woodward, S., Wilson, E., Weatherall, A., Stokes, V., Smithers, R.J., Sangster, M., Russell, K., Pullin, A.S., Price, C., Morecroft, M., Malins, M., Lawrence, A., Kirby, K.J., Godbold, D., Charman, E., Boshier, D., Bosbeer, S., Arnold, J.E.M. (2010). A participatory process for identifying and prioritizing policy-relevant research questions in natural resource management: A case study from the UK forestry sector. Forestry 84 (4): 357-367.

Lawrence, A., Molteno, S. & Butterworth, T. (2010). Community wildlife sites in Oxfordshire: new ecological and social meanings. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) .

Lawrence, A., B. Anglezarke, B. Frost, P. Nolan, & R. Owens. (2009). What does community forestry mean in a devolved Great Britain? International Forestry Review 11 (2): 281-297.

Lawrence A. (2009). The first cuckoo in winter: British phenology recording, credibility and meaning. Global Environmental Change 19: 173-179.

Lawrence A. (2009). Forestry in transition: imperial legacy and negotiated expertise in Romania and Poland. Forest Policy and Economics 11: 429-436.

Menton, M. C.S., Merry, F.D., Lawrence, A. & Brown, N. (2009). Company-community logging contracts in Amazonian settlements: impacts on livelihoods and NTFP harvests. Ecology and Society 14(10).

King, L.E., Lawrence, A., Douglas-Hamilton, I. & Vollrath, F. (2009). Beehive Fence Deters Crop-raiding Elephants.  African Journal of Ecology 47 (2): 131-137.

Lawrence A. (2008). Experiences with participatory conservation in post-socialist Europe. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 4 (2008) 179–186.

Szabo, E.A., Lawrence, A., Iusan, C., & Canney, S. (2008). Participatory protected area management – A case study from Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 4 (2008) 187–199.

Turnock, D. & Lawrence, A. (2007). Romania’s forests under transition: changing priorities in management, conservation and ownership. Geographica Timisiensis 16 (1): 5-28.

Lawrence, A. (2007). Beyond the second generation: towards adaptiveness in participatory forest management (PDF-141K) . CABI Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 2 (28): 1-15.

Lawrence, A., Paudel, K., Barnes, R. & Malla, Y. (2006). Adaptive value of participatory biodiversity monitoring in community forestry, Nepal. Environmental Conservation. 33 (4): 325-334.

Lawrence, A. (2006). “No personal motive?” Volunteers, biodiversity and the false dichotomies of participation. Ethics, Place and Environment 9 (3): 279-298.

Lawrence, A., Phillips, O., Reategui, A., Lopez, M., Rose, S., Wood, D. & José, A. 2005. Local values for harvested forest plants in Madre de Dios, Peru: towards a more contextualised  interpretation of quantitative ethnobotanical data. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 45-79.

Lawrence, A. & Szabo, A. (2005). Ethics and culture in the forestry profession: emergent changes in post-communist Romania. Silva Carelica: special issue on Forest Ethics. 49: 303-314.

Sheil, D. & Lawrence, A. (2004). Tropical biologists, local people and conservation: new opportunities for collaboration. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 19: 634-638.

Lawrence, A. (2003). "No forest without timber?" International Forestry Review 5(2): 3-10.

Lawrence, A., Ambrose-Oji, B., Lysinge, R. & Tako, C.  (2000).  Exploring local values for forest biodiversity on Mount Cameroon. Mountain Research & Development 20(2):112-115.

Felsing, M., Haylor, G., Lawrence, A. & Norrish, P. (2000). Reaching rural poor – developing a strategy for the promotion and dissemination of participatory aquaculture research: A case study from Eastern India. Journal of Extension Systems 16: 82-106.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

Lawrence, A. & Molteno, S. (in press). From rationalism to reflexivity? Reflections on change in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. In: Eric Brousseau, Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Bernd Siebenhüner (eds.) Reflexive governance for global public goods. MIT Press.

Selman, P., Carter, C., Morgan, C. & Lawrence, A. (2011). Raising Catchment Consciousness – how imaginative engagement can help sustainable use of rivers in Leading Learning for Sustainable Communities. Hertford, Hertfordshire University Press. Edited by C. Wong, A. Green, and S. Sadler.

Lawrence, A. (2010). Taking stock: learning from experiences of participatory biodiversity assessment. In: Lawrence, A. (ed.) Taking Stock of Nature: participatory biodiversity assessment for planning policy and practice. Chapter 1, pp. 1-29. Cambridge University Press.

Lawrence, A. (2010). The personal and political of volunteers’ data: towards a national biodiversity database for the UK. In: Lawrence, A. (ed.) Taking Stock of Nature: participatory biodiversity assessment for planning policy and practice. Chapter 12, pp. 251-265. Cambridge University Press.

Lawrence, A. & Gillett S. (2004). Collaborative forest management. In: Burley J., Evans J. and Youngquist J. (eds) Encyclopaedia of Forest Sciences, pp. 1143-1157. Elsevier, Oxford.

Lawrence, A. (2004). Social values. In: Burley J., Evans J. and Youngquist J. (eds) Encyclopaedia of Forest Sciences, pp. 1126-1131. Elsevier, Oxford.

Lawrence, A. (2003). Participatory ecological monitoring in protected areas. In: Jaireth H. and Smyth D. (eds) Innovative Governance: Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and Protected Areas, pp. 249-267. IUCN. Ane Books, New Delhi.

Lawrence, A. & van Rijsoort, J. (2003). A practical guide to participatory biodiversity assessment. In UNEP (ed) Biodiversity Assessment: a methods manual for practitioners. UNEP / World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

McDonald, M., Lawrence, A. & Shrestha, P. (2003). Soil erosion. In: Schroth G. and Sinclair F.L. (eds) Trees, Crops and Soil Fertility, pp. 325-344. CAB International.

Lawrence, A. (2001). Creating New Knowledge for Soil and Water Conservation in Bolivia. In: R. Jeffery and B. Vira (eds.) Conflict and Cooperation in Participatory Natural Resource Management, pp. 171-188. Palgrave, London.

Lawrence, A. & Green K. (2000). Research and participatory forest management: comparing the priorities of resource users and development professionals (PDF-159K). Pp. 63-70 in: Lawrence A.(ed) Forestry, forest users and research: new ways of learning. ETFRN, Wageningen, Netherlands / ANN-ETFRN, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-9501392-0-6.

Lawrence, A., Haylor, G., Barahona, C. & Meusch, E. (2000). Adapting participatory methods to meet different stakeholder needs: farmers’ experiments in Bolivia and Laos. Pp. 50-67 in Estrella M., J. Blauert, D. Campilan, J. Gaventa, Julian Gonsalves, Irene Guijt, Deb Johnson and Roger Ricafort (eds) Learning from Change: Issues and Challenges in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation. Intermediate Technology Publications, London. ISBN 1 85339 469 6.

Forestry Commission and Forest Research reports

Lawrence, A., and S. Gillett  (2011). Human dimensions of adaptive forest management and climate change: a review of international  experiences (PDF-1050K). Forestry Commission Research Report 16.

Lawrence, A. and Ambrose-Oji, B. (2011). Understanding the effects of community woodlands and forests in Great Britain (PDF-76K). Proceedings of the 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, Edinburgh, June 2010.

Lawrence, A. and Jollands M. (2011). ‘The future of the Public Forest Estate in England’: analysis of responses to the curtailed Public Consultation January-February 2011. Final Report, May 2011. Forest Research.

Ambrose-Oji. B., Lawrence, A., Wallace, J. and Stewart, A. (2011). Constructing partnerships with state forestry, the British experience. In: Ambrose-Oji, B., and Fancett, K. (eds) Woods and Forests in British Society: Progress in research and practice (PDF-2066K) , pp. 67-73.  Forest Research.

Lawrence, A., Wilmot, Z., Tidey, P., Pollard, A., Hollingdale, J., Harris, K., Calvert, A. and Ambrose-Oji, B. (2011). The evolution of community woodlands in Scotland, Wales and England. In: Ambrose-Oji, B., and Fancett, K. (eds) Woods and Forests in British Society: Progress in research and practice (PDF-2066K), pp. 74-80.  Forest Research.

Morris J. and Lawrence A. (2011). Learning from Monitoring & Evaluation – a blueprint for an adaptive organisation (PDF-126K). Forest Research.

Ambrose-Oji, B., Wallace, J., Lawrence, A. and Stewart, A. (2010). Forestry Commission working with civil society (PDF-1410K). Forest Research.

Lawrence, A. and N. Dandy. (2010). Landowners’ attitudes to woodland creation and management: a review of evidence in the UK (PDF-449K). Summary report. Forest Research.

Lawrence, A., N. Dandy, and J. Urquhart. (2010). Landowners’ attitudes to woodland creation and management: a review of evidence in the UK (PDF-2639K). Full report. Forest Research.

Stewart, A., Lawrence, A. and Molteno, S. (2010). Social benefits. In: Forest Research (Ed.) Benefits of green infrastructure (PDF-1211K). Report to Defra and CLG pp. 35-69.

Stewart, A., Lawrence, A. and Edwards, D. (2010). Uptake of Decision Support Systems in the Forestry Sector in Great Britain - Scoping  Report (PDF-655K). Forest Research.

Carter,C., Lawrence, A., Lovell, R. and O'Brien, L. (2009). The Forestry Commission Public Forest Estate in England: Social use, value and expectations. Final Report.

Lawrence, A. (2009). Community experiences of the National Forest Land Scheme (PDF-405K). Forest Research.

Marzano, M., Lawrence, A., and Ambrose-Oji, B. (2009). Social research and the Forestry Commission: perceptions and applications (PDF-243K). Forest Research.

O'Brien, L. Owen, R. Singh, J and Lawrence A. (2009). Social dynamics of London's trees, woodlands and green spaces. Forestry Commission England.

Other reports and articles

Lawrence, A. (2011). Community connection (PDF-645K). Chartered Forester April 2011:24-26.

Lawrence, A., Johnston, M.,  Konijnendijk, C. and De Vreese, R. (2011). The governance of (peri-)urban forestry in Europe (PDF-86K). Briefing paper 3. Workshop on sharing experiences on urban and peri-urban forestry. 28 January 2011, Brussels.

Lawrence, A. (2008). But is it science? A day with the CCFG at Stourhead (Western) Estate, Wiltshire (PDF-485K). Continuous Cover Forestry Group Newsletter 28: 16-17.

Tucker, G., Bubb, P., de Heer, M., Miles, L., Lawrence, A., Bajracharya, S.B., Nepal, R. C., Sherchan, R. & Chapagain, N.R. (2005). Guidelines for Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring for Protected Areas. WCMC / UNEP / KMTNC, Kathmandu, Nepal. 132 pp.