Peter Crow, BSc, MSc

Landscape and Environmental Scientist

Peter Crow


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)067 5636
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Peter joined Forest Research in 1986, developing methods for the chemical analysis of forest samples. During Peter’s time in the laboratories, he also obtained his HNC (Lilly Prize winner) and BSc, both of which were in biological sciences. Subsequent research into air pollution, Critical Loads, tree root architecture and soil sustainability, has provided Peter with an extensive knowledge of environmental forest science.

For 12 years Peter was head of the Historic Environment Research Programme, advising on and researching how heritage assets are best preserved in forests. In 2002 Peter successfully obtained a MSc in Geoarchaeology. The need to identify and map archaeological features under woodland canopies led Peter to help pioneer this use of Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR), a remote sensing technique with the potential ability to map forest floors in high detail. Peter has lectured, published and refereed scientific papers on this research and heads the Woodland Heritage Services Group which has provided support to many organisations considering this application of LiDAR.

Current role

Landscape and Environmental Scientist

Observatree Project Manager

Peter is part of the Landscape and Ecosystem Services group, helping to develop methods and tools for the assessment, valuation, promotion and management of landscape and ecosystem assets and services.

He is also Head of Woodland Heritage Services Group

Affiliations and achievements

  • Member of Council for British archaeology
  • Member of Council for Scottish archaeology.

Research areas

  • GIS methods and applications for assessing, valuing and managing ecosystem services
  • Examining the potential role of LiDAR in recording and monitoring landscape and ecosystem services and developing methods where appropriate
  • Implications of Climate Change predictions and mitigation strategies for the landscape and ecosystem services
  • Floodplain forestry and implications for landscape and ecosystem services
  • Knowledge exchange and management guidance for archaeological sites and remains, veteran trees and other historic landscape features
  • Preservation of archaeological evidence in woodland soils.

Publications in refereed journals and book chapters 

Ed Tipping, Sue Benham, Peter Crow (2014) Atmospheric deposition of phosphorus to land and freshwater.  Environmental Science Processes and Impacts. DOI 10.1039/c3em00641g

Graham, K and Crow, P. (2010). A woodland burial study: Developing methodologies for monitoring and modelling the burial environment. In: Williams, E. and Peachey, C. (eds), The Conservation of Archaeological Materials Current trends and future directions. BAR International Series 2116.

Vanguelova, E.I., Benham, S., Pitman, R., Moffat, A.J., Broadmeadow, M., Nisbet, T., Durrant, D., Barsoum, N., Wilkinson, M., Bochereau, F., Hutchings, T., Broadmeadow, S., Crow, P., Taylor, T., Durrant Houston. (2010). Chemical fluxes in time through forest ecosystems in the UK – Soil response  to pollution recovery. Environmental Pollution, 158. 1857-1869.

Yarnell, T. and Crow, P. (2010). Forestry and the historic environment in Britain: a challenging past and an exciting future. In: Byrnes, E., Holyoak, V. and Trow, S. (Eds.) Heritage Management of Farmed and Forested Landscapes in Europe. EAC Occasional Paper 4

Crutchley, S and Crow P (2009). The Light Fantastic: Using airborne laser scanning in archaeological survey English Heritage Guidelines. English Heritage, Swindon.

Crow, P. (2008) Mineral weathering in forest soils and its relevance to the preservation of the buried archaeological resource. Journal of Archaeological Science. 35. 2262-2273

Devereux B.J., Amable, G.S. & Crow, P. (2008). Visualisation of LiDAR terrain models for archaeological feature detection, Antiquity 82, No.316  470–479

Graham, K., Crow, P., Fell, V., Simpson, P., Wyeth, P., Baker, R., and Griffin, V. (2008). A woodland burial study: developing methods to monitor the burial environment. in H Kars, and R M van Heeringen (eds) Preserving Archaeological Remains in situ. Proceedings of the 3rd conference 7-9 December 2006. Amsterdam: Geoarchaeological and Bioarchaeological Studies 10, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 131-137.

Crow, P., Benham, S., Devereux, B.J. and Amable, G.S. (2007). Woodland vegetation and its implications for archaeological survey using LiDAR. Forestry. 80 (3): 241-252.

Devereux, B.J., Amable, G.S., Crow, P. and Cliff, A.D. (2005). The potential of airborne LiDAR for detection of archaeological features under woodland canopies. Antiquity. 79. 648-660.

Crow, P. and Moffat, A.J. (2005). The management of the archaeological resource in wooded landscapes: an environmental perspective. Conservation and management of archaeological sites. 7, 103-116.

Crow, P. and Houston, T. (2004). The rooting habit of Short Rotation Coppice grown on Pelosol, Brown Earth, Surface and Ground Water Gley soils. Biomass and Bioenergy. 26, 497-505.

Crow, P. (2003). Community woodland establishment on the Avon Levels and archaeological site assessment: A case study. Archaeology in the Severn Estuary 13 (for 2002).

Forestry Commission publications

Crow, P and Yarnell, T. (2008). Working with the Historic Environment (PDF-982K). Best Practice Guidance Note 14. The Land Regeneration and Urban Greening Group, Forest Research, Farnham.

Crow, P. (2005). The influence of soils and species on tree root depth (PDF-1140K). Forestry Commission Information Note 78.

Crow, P. (2004) The role of research in managing the Historic Environment (PDF-1180K). Forest Research Annual Report and Account 2002-2003. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Articles in popular trade journals 

Crow, P. (2009). Landscapes and LiDAR: history under the greenwood tree. Significance. 6 (2): 58-62. Royal Statistical Society

Lennon, B. and Crow, P. (2009). Lidar and its role in understanding the historic landscape of Savernake Forest. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Magazine, 102, 245-261.

Crow, P. (2007). Hi-tech solution to and age-old problem: mapping ancient sites in woodland. Land Research Extra, 44 September ed. Landscape Research group.

Crow, P. and Yarnell, T. (2002). Preservation or Destruction? Archaeological site management in woodland environments. Forestry and British Timber, January edition  p14-16.

Contributions to conferences and symposia

Crow, P. (2010). Illuminating woodland heritage: The technical specifications and limitations of lidar. Past Landscapes beneath the trees, using lidar in woodlands conference. 8th September, Cheltenham.

Crow, P. (2009). Forestry and archaeology in Britain: A bumpy past and a challenging future. 15th Annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, 15-20th September, Trento, Italy.

Crow, P. (2007). Archaeological mapping in woodland by tree removal. South East England Woodland Archaeology Seminar. 11th October, 2007.

Crow, P. (2007). Managing the Historic Environment. NW England Forestry Commission Research Seminar. 20th June, 2007.

Crow, P. (2006). The application of LiDAR for archaeological prospection in woodland.  Chiltern woodland archaeological research seminar. March, 15th. 2006.

Graham, K. and Crow, P. (2005). A Woodland Burial Study: developing methodologies for monitoring and modelling the burial environment. The Conservation of Archaeological Materials – current trends and future directions.  November 13-17, 2005  Williamsburg, VA.

Crow, P. (2005). LiDAR survey of Welshbury Hillfort.  LiDAR workshop, chaired and held by Forest Research, at Alice Holt. February 4th, 2005.

Crow, P. and Moffat, A.J. (1999). Impacts of forests and forestry on features of archaeological and geoarchaeological importance. Geoarchaeology workshop: Landscape change over archaeological timescales. December 15-17, 1999. University of Reading.