Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Woodland Ecology and Conservation, with or without placement.

I grew up in a place with more lamposts than trees. I worked in a suit and tie in a city, until I had a moment of epiphany whilst hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, Canada. I remember looking up at the big trees and realising I preferred them to the big buildings I worked in. I studied as a mature student as far away from my former workplace as possible. I thought I would get a job as a forester on a private estate after graduating, but I was a mature student who found my vocation at university. Having struggled with A levels, I enjoyed my degree. I spent my placement year at the Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute and found the research difficult, but exciting. My PhD fieldwork was based in dense Sitka spruce stands and on clearfell/restock sites, now I prefer to work in Atlantic oakwoods. I thought by studying trees I could escape from people, but now I enjoy helping students learn about how trees, woods and forests can benefit human society. I am a forest management educated woodland ecology lecturer.

I am the module leader for:

Measuring Trees and Forests (1st year, level 4)

Woodland Ecology (1st year, level 4)

Valuing the Environment (2nd year, level 5)

Woodland Ecology and Conservation (final year, level 6)

Forest Carbon Management (final year, level 6)

And I contribute to other modules in the National School of Forestry and the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, especially where I can help students gain the skills and expertise in sustainable forest management to combat climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, the twin challenges of our time.

I also currently contribute to our Geography programme.

Qualifications and memberships

2005 PhD Forestry (Aberdeen) - Nutrient cycling in forests

2009 Post-Graduate Certificate in Research Student Supervision (UCLan)

Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (i.e. Chartered Forester)

Leader of Working Group 1 of EU COST Action CA15226 Climate Smart Forestry in Mountain Regions (CLIMO)

Leader of the Landscapes and Ecology theme with the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas.

University of Cumbria representative on Lake District National Park Partnership Climate Change SubGroup

Member of British Ecological Society's Forest Ecology Group.

Academic and research interests

My research interests can be summarised as:

'The effects of forest and woodland management on ....'

For example, my own PhD could be summarised as:

'The effects of forest management on nutrients'.

And I have supervised PhD students on:

'The effects of woodland management on bats.'

'The effects of forest managent on soil carbon.'

I enjoy co-supervising with experts from different disciplines, where I have forest and woodland expertise to share and they contribute with another subject specialism.

I would like to try and switching this around too:

'The effects of ....... on forest/woodland management.'

For example, the effects of climate change on tree species selection. The effects of buffer zones on natural colonisation to expand ancient semi-natural woodlands.

Finally, I am particularly interested in pursuing my work as the leader of a working group defining climate smart forestry by investigating methods of assessing criteria and indicators measuring management interventions to improve climate adaptation or mitigation by forestry. Or on the trade-offs between forest and woodland management for adaptation (resistance and resilienc).

If you are a potential collaborator, or a possible PhD student with an idea that might broadly fit under this canopy, let me know. If you are a current student thinking about undergraduate dissertation ideas, come and have a chat.

Research supervision


The restoration of Cumbria peatlands: quantifying the carbon benefits of different restoration approaches - Jack Brennand (with Dr Simon Carr and Dr Jane Barker)

The effects of woodland management, and climate change, on hazel dormouse - Rachel Findlay-Robinson (with Dr Davina Hill and Dr Volker Deecke).


The effects of forest management on soil carbon - Mauro Lanfranchi (with Dr Elena Vanguelova at Forest Research) (Completed, awaiting graduation)

The effects of woodland management on bats - Dr Andy Carr (with Professor Gareth Jones at University of Bristol) (Completed)

The effects of woodland management on butterflies - Dr Donna Taylor (Completed)

The development of community renewable energy projects - Dr Jenny Rogers (Completed)


Carr, A, Weatherall, A, Fialas, P, Zeale, MRK, Clare, EL and Jones G 2021 Moths consumed by the barbastelle Barbastella barbastellus  require larval host plants that occur within the bat's foraging habitats. Acta Chiropteroligica 22(2):257-269

Bowditch,E, Santopuoli, G, Binder, F, del Rio, M, La Porta, N, Kluvankova, T, Lesinski, J, Motta, R Pach, M, Panzacchi, P, Pretzsch, H, Temperli, C, Tonon, G, Velikova, V, Smith, M, Weatherall, A and Tognetti, R 2020 What is Climate-Smart Forestry? A definition from a multinational collaborative process focused on mountain regions of Europe. Ecosystem Services 43:101113

Carr, A, Weatherall, A and Jones, G  2020 The effects of thinning management on bats and their insect prey in temperate broadleaved woodland. Forest Ecology and Management 457:117682

Carr, A, Zeale, M, Weatherall, A, Froidevaux, J & Jones, G 2018. Ground-based and LiDAR-derived measurements reveal scale-dependent selection of roost characteristics by the rare tree-dwelling bat Barbastella barbastellus. Forest Ecology and Management 417:237-246

Nair, R.K.F., Perks, M.P., Weatherall, A, Baggs, EM and Mencuccini, M 2016 Does canopy nitrogen uptake enhance carbon sequestration by trees? Global Change Biology 22:875 – 888

Nair R, Weatherall A, Perks M, Mencuccini M 2014 Stem injection of 15N-NH4NO3 into mature Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Tree Physiology 34: 1130-1140.

Taylor, D., Ramsey, A, Convery, I, Lawrence, A and Weatherall, A 2013. The impacts of commercial woodland management on woodland butterfly biodiversity in Morecambe Bay, UK. Conservation Evidence 10:10-15

Bogdanou, T, Starr, CB, Weatherall, A and Leslie, AD 2013 Use of the internet and social media in the forestry profession in the United Kingdom. International Forestry Review 15(2):147-159

Churchland, C , Weatherall, A, Briones, MJI and Grayston, S 2012 Stable-isotope-labeling and probing of recent photosynthates into respired CO2 soil microbes and soil mesofauna using a xylem and phloem stem-injection technique on Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 26:2493-2501

Mason, WL, McKay, HM, Weatherall, A, Connolly, T and Harrison, AJ, 2012 Effects of whole tree harvesting on development of Sitka spruce stands on three sites in upland Britain. I – Tree growth after ten years.Forestry 85:111-123

(2012 Silvicultural Prize, awarded by the Institute of Chartered Foresters for the best paper in Forestry that year)

Rogers, JC, Simmons, EA, Convery, I and Weatherall, A, 2012 Social impacts of commmunity renewable energy. Findings from a woodfuel heating initiative. Energy Policy 42:239-247

Rogers, JC, Simmons, EA, Convery, I, Weatherall, A 2012 What factors enable community- leadership of renewable energy projects? Lessons from a woodfuel heating initiative. Local Economy 27:209-222

Rogers, JC, Convery, I, Simmons, EA and Weatherall, A 2012 What does it mean to be a friendly outsider? Critical reflection on finding a role as an action researcher with communities developing renewable energy projects. Educational Action Research 20:201-218

Matyssek, R, Wieser, G, Calfapietra, C, de Vries, W, Dizengremel, P, Ernst, D,  Jolivet, Y, Mikkelsen, TN, Mohren, GMJ, Le Thiec, D, Tuovinen, J-P,  Weatherall, A and Paoletti E 2012 Forests under climate change and air pollution: Gaps in understanding and future directions for research. Environmental Pollution 160:57-65

Adamu, L, Diarra, SS and Weatherall, A 2011 The effects of pre-treatments on the germination of African Locust Bean (Parkia biglobosa). International Journal of the Agriculture 3:37

Petrokofsky, G, Brown, ND Hemery, GE, Woodward, S, Wilson, E, Weatherall, A, Stokes, V, Smithers, RJ, Sangster, M, Russell, K, Pullin, AS, Price, C, Morecroft, M, Malins, M, Lawrence, A, Kirby, KJ, Godbold, D, Charman, E, Boshier, D, Bosbeer, S, and Arnold, JEM 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 83:357-367

Rogers, JC, Simmons, EA, Convery, I and Weatherall, A 2008 Public perceptions of community-based renewable energy projects. Energy Policy 36:4217-4226

Cope, MH, Leslie, AD and Weatherall, A 2008 The potential suitability of provenances of Eucalyptus gunii for short rotation forestry in the UK. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 102:185-194 

Weatherall, A, Proe, MF, Craig, J, Cameron, AD, McKay, HM and Midwood, AJ 2006 Tracing N, K, Mg and Ca released from decomposing biomass to new tree growth. Part II: A model system simulating harvest root decomposition on clear fell sites. Biomass & Bioenergy 30:1060-1066

Weatherall, A, Proe, MF, Craig, J, Cameron, AD, McKay, HM and Midwood, AJ 2006 Tracing N, K, Mg and Ca released from decomposing biomass to new tree growth. Part I: A model system simulating harvest residue decomposition on conventionally harvested clear fell sites. Biomass & Bioenergy, 30:1053-1059

Weatherall, A, Proe, MF, Craig, J, Cameron, AD and Midwood, AJ 2006 Internal cycling of nitrogen, potassium and magnesium in young Sitka spruce. Tree Physiology, 26:673-680

General articles

Weatherall, A, Maker, J and Bird, S The Timber Takeover. The Ecologist, 3rd July 2020

Weatherall, A Carver, S, Fenton, L, Everitt, J and Convery, I Rewilding: continuing the debate. The Ecologist, 27th August 2019

Weatherall, A 2019 Every sandwich needs a filling. Forestry Journal, 298:20-21

Weatherall, A Climate smart forestry. The Ecologist, 24th May 2019.

Weatherall, A What ‘rewilding’ really means for forestry. The Guardian. 25th May 2019

Weatherall, A So many ways - big and small - to capture carbon. The Guardian, 4th April 2019

Weatherall, A 2019 Forestry is Applied Mathematics. Part 2. Pythagoras' Theorem and SOHCAHTOA. Mathematics in School, 48 (2):8-9

Weatherall, A 2019 Forestry is Applied Mathematics. Part 1. Using pi. Mathematics in School, 48 (3):5-8

Weatherall, A 2009 Food, wood or fuel? Where is the land for growing dedicated energy crops in the United Kingdom. Forestry Journal 05/09:26-27


Gracie, J and Weatherall, A Do Plants Eat Dirt? The Naked Scientists, Podcast and Transcript, 21st January 2019.

Book chapters

Weatherall, A, van der Velden, N, Wallace, C and Atkins, R 2013 Young Wood: a woodland beyond the edge. In Trees beyond the wood. An exploration of concepts of woods, forests and trees. Eds. Rotherham, ID, Handley, C, Agnoletti, M and Samojilik, T Wildtrack Publishing, U.K.

Rogers, J, Convery, I, Simmons, E and Weatherall, A, 2012 Local renewables for local places? Attitudes to renewable energy and the role of communities in place-based renewable energy development. In Convery, I, Davis P, and Corsane, G (Eds) Making Sense of Place. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.

Information booklet

Hagon, S, Ottitsch, A, Convery, I, Herbert, A, Leafe, R, Robson, D and Weatherall, A 2013 Managing land for carbon: a guide for farmers, land managers and advisors. Lake District National Park / University of Cumbria.

Recent external roles

MSc by Research Examiner at University of Bristol.

External Examiner for forestry programmes at Bangor University (BSc Forestry, BSc Conservation with Forestry, MFor Forestry). 

Guest Editor of The Ecologist for The Timber Takeover.

Guest Editor of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research for a Special Issue on Climate Smart Forestry.

Contributor to a report on Nature-Based Solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss from woodlands for the British Ecological Society.

Recent Consultancy

Ecological Site Classification field surveys and reports on tree species suitablity for afforestation for timber production and/or other objectives.

Review of UK Forestry Standard, Biodiversity section.

Other Work

Led National School of Forestry response to England Tree Strategy Consultation in summer 2020.