Matt Parratt, BSc, MSc

Research Scientist

Matt Parratt

Email: matthew.parratt@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)131 0300 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5702
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Address:
Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Roslin
Midlothian EH25 9SY
UK

Matt works on a wide range of projects managing large scale trials investigating potential species and provenances in relation to forestry with future climate change, alternative silvicultural systems, integrated vegetation management, Chalara ash dieback tolerance in common ash, and the integrated management of the Hylobius in forests. He also provides specialist scientific and technical support to Westonbirt National Arboretum, Bedgebury Pinetum, and smaller Forestry Commission and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) arboreta in Scotland, Wales, and England. He is the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland joint referee for conifers, and sits on their society council.

Current role

Research Scientist

Matt joined Forest Research in 1994 as a seed analyst following initial training as an agricultural seed analyst and crop inspector. In 2003 he transferred his skills from seeds to saplings and trees and now has a diverse portfolio ranging from large scale field trial management to knowledge exchange and botanical training. Following the discovery of Chalara ash dieback in the UK in 2012 he used these skills and experience to facilitate the establishment of a large scale mass screening trial over 14 sites in south-east England and planting 155’000 ash trees. His interaction with non-FC landowners was crucial to the success of this important and high profile trial.

His work with the National Arboreta led him to represent Forest Research in Vietnam in 2009 where he presented research on the germination of rare and endangered conifers at the Vietnam Centre for Plant Conservation, and worked with Vietnamese colleagues to collect samples of the recently discovered conifers Xanthocyparis vietnamensis and Cupressus tonkinensis from their native habitat and offer advice on their propagation.

Matt is an effective presenter and a strong teacher with a growing botanical skills base as evidenced by his role in the success of the multi-million HLF funded Westonbirt project. Positive interaction with the resident volunteer flora group led directly to successful intensive surveys of nationally important calcareous grasslands, the establishment of a rigorous monitoring protocol, and the restoration of the former car-park to grassland.

Current projects

Responsibilities

Experiment management
Liaison with site managers, contractors, and FR Field teams
Data management, validation and analysis
Quality Assurance: Drafting experiment plans and standard operating procedures
Drafting summary reports, site management plans and ecological survey strategies.
Budget management
Providing specialist technical and scientific advice to arboreta managers
Liaison with volunteers
Providing training
Sourcing trial and experiment sites
Knowledge exchange via presentations, reports, and media interviews

Affiliations and responsibilities

Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) Council member.


Main recent publications and knowledge exchange activities

Peer reviewed publications

McCartan, S. A. and Parratt, M. J. (2016). Common juniper in Britain: a review of the challenges facing this iconic species. Scottish Forestry, 70 (2), 34-40.

Jinks, R. L., Parratt, M. and Morgan, G. (2012). Preferences of granivorous rodents for seeds of 12 temperate tree and shrub species used in direct sowing. Journal of Forest Ecology and Management 278, 71-79.

FC and FR publications

Parratt, M. Jinks, R. (2013). Species preference of small mammals for direct-sown tree and shrub seeds. Forestry Commission Research Note

Reports

Willoughby, I. H. and Parratt M. J. (2016). Cycloxidim may be a partial future alternative to propyzamide for the control of Molinia caerulea, Deschampsia flexuosa, Calamagrostis epigejos and Holcus lanatus. Report to Forestry Commission England.

Other publications

Parratt, M. J. (2016) Nature rules: an update on the grassland restoration project. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum Magazine 104, Summer 2016.

Parratt, M. J. (2013) Grassland riches: the grassland restoration project. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum Magazine 91, Spring 2013.

Software

Jinks, R.J., Parratt, M.J. & Gates, G. (2015). A Guide to the seedlings of woodland Trees and shrubs of Britain. Smartphone application

Training courses

Intensive One day Broadleaved trees in winter ID training day for (Forestry Commission) Volunteer rangers in the New Forest. 9th February 2017.

Intensive One day Conifer ID training day for (Forestry Commission) Volunteer rangers in the New Forest. 4th November 2016.

Introductory Conifer and broadleaf tree ID training course for FR staff. October 19th-20th 2016.

Intensive One day Broadleaf tree ID training day for Forestry Commission England Volunteer rangers in the New Forest. 22nd June 2016.

Two day intensive Introduction to Tree ID for DEFRA staff. September 30th-October 1st 2015.

Knowledge exchange

ICF meeting Kent June 30th 2016. Presenting the DEFRA Mass screening trials for Chalara ash dieback tolerance.

Tree Health Day – FC England (South West England). 23rd March 2016. Presenting the progress of the DEFRA Mass screening trials for Chalara ash dieback tolerance.

Tree Health Event, Forestry Commission England (North West and West Midlands District). October 5th 2015. Presenting the progress of the DEFRA Mass screening trials for Chalara ash dieback tolerance.

Woodland Trust Chalara Day, Pound Farm, Suffolk. June 16th 2015. Presenting the progress of the DEFRA Mass screening trials for Chalara ash dieback tolerance.