Before deciding on a career change in 1998 Mark travelled extensively and spent some time living and working in Asia.

As a mature student, Mark decided on a career in forestry and woodland management and started studying at the National School of Forestry from 1998. Following his graduation he worked at the newly set up Centre of Vocational Excellence for Forestry and Arboriculture at the Newton Rigg Campus. 

In 2006 Mark started working for Forestry Commission Scotland, firstly in the Conservancy dealing with grants and licences in Aberdeenshire before moving to West Argyll in a Forest Manager role. Here he spent time running and organising large areas of re-stocking and the management of the recreation facilities. After 2 years in the north and west of Scotland, Mark moved to south Scotland and worked as a Direct Production Harvesting Forest Manager. 

The next opportunity came when the position of Communities, Recreation and Tourism Forester was offered to him; he took on this position because it offered a very challenging job with the management of a team of rangers, operational staff and contractors as well as being public facing.

In 2014 Mark went back to work as a Forestry Lecturer at Newton Rigg College which was now delivering vocational education to post 16 year old students at Level 2 and 3.

Mark joined the University of Cumbria in December 2015, and has responsibility for delivering the modules Managing Trees, Woods and Forests, Recreation in Woodlands, Forest Design Planning, and Personal Development.       

During his time with the University, Mark has been programme leader for the FdSc Forestry, BSc (Hons) Forest Management and the BSc (Hons) Forestry Top-Up undergraduate courses.  


Qualifications and memberships

BSc (Hons) Forest and Woodland Management


Academic and research interests

  • The interactions between people, trees, woodland and forests 
  • Development of widening access to higher education in forestry 
  • Social aspects of forestry and woodland  
  • Economical woodland and forest resources 
  • Timber utilisation 


Bowditch, E., Santopuoli, G., Neroj, B., Svetlik, J., Tominlson, M., Pohl, V., Avdagić, A., del Rio, M., Zlatanov, T., Maria, H. and Jamnická, G., 2022. Application of climate-smart forestry–Forest manager response to the relevance of European definition and indicators. Trees, Forests and People, 9, p.100313. 

Locher, C (2019) A Day in the working life: Mark Tomlinson. Forestry Journal and Essential Arb.

Leslie A & Tomlinson M, (2022) The University of Cumbria’s response to the Forest Skills Shortage. Trees, Summer Edition. ICF   

Recent external roles

As the University's representative on the Forestry Skills Forum, Mark was involved in the early discussions of what would become the Professional Forester Degree Apprenticeship. Since the apprenticeship standard was launched in August 2022, Mark has been the programme leader for this exciting and innovative new way to access an undergraduate qualification. Working closely with our partners the Forestry Commission and the Institute of Chartered Foresters, Mark has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the validation, launch and delivery of the HL apprenticeship. 

Mark is on the panel of the Royal Forestry Society’s Learning and Outreach Advisory Group, the Forestry Skills Forum and the Forestry Apprenticeship Group and is currently an External Examiner for Bangor University.