Research centres launched

We re-organise to give a clearer focus on our priority work on forestry and climate change

News from Forest Research: April 2009

Diagram showing three overlapping research centres

From 2nd April 2009 we have changed our core structure into three research "centres", which will work to deliver the rapidly changing and challenging research requirements of Forest Research's public and private-sector clients. The new centres are:

  • The Centre for Forestry and Climate Change, which will research the effects of environmental and climate change on forestry, and how the forestry sector can play its part in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. It will also develop entomological, pathological and environmental sciences in order to deliver a holistic understanding of climate change and forestry that can inform action and policy development. Professor Andy Moffat is the Head  of this Centre.
  • The Centre for Forest Resources and Management, which will research, develop and provide guidance on methods of quantifying, improving and managing Britain’s forest resources in a cost-effective, safe, sustainable and socially beneficial way. It will also provide technical support for field experimentation, monitoring and surveys through Forest Research's Technical Services Unit. Dr Helen McKay leads this Centre.
  • The Centre for Human and Ecological Sciences, which will research and develop the role of trees, woodland and forests in society and within integrated sustainable landscapes by applying a broad range of skills from the human and ecological sciences. It will also provide statistical support for research across the Agency.  Dr Chris Quine leads this Centre.

Professor Peter Freer-Smith is Director of Research, and the three research centres are supported by an Operations Unit comprising human resources, finance, IT support, communications and business development, headed by Dr Hugh Williams.

Welcoming the re-organisation, Tim Rollinson, Director-General of the Forestry Commission, said

"Through this restructuring we believe we've enabled Forest Research to be more responsive to the modern requirements of government, the forestry community and wider society. We've also aimed to put it on a more outward-looking, business-like footing.

"It now has a clearer focus on our priority, which is climate change, while continuing to be well equipped to deliver on the other areas of work that need to be done."

Dr James Pendlebury, Chief Executive of Forest Research, agreed, adding,

“Forest Research's vision is to be a robust, market-relevant and flexible organisation with a reputation for innovative, applied science.

"Our new research centres will help us achieve this vision, and in particular will give a sharp focus to our current policy priority, which is to research the interactions between forests and climate change.

"These are exciting and forward-looking times at Forest Research."

Press release with brief biographies of Forest Research's Chief Executive and Heads of Centres.

Further information about our work on climate change on forestry.


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This and other news stories can be found in the April 2009 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.

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