Hugh Williams, BA, MSc, PhD, FICFor

Head of Centre for Research Services (CRS)

Hugh Williams


Tel:          +44 (0)300 067 5760
Mobile:     +44 (0)7909 906976

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Hugh joined Forest Research in 2007. He previously worked at the National Forest Company, in private forestry consultancies and for local authorities. He gained his Ph.D. from Reading University where his research involved fieldwork in Les Landes and Thetford Forest and high resolution Thematic Mapper and Airbourne Thematic Mapper data to estimate forest biomass. Associated work during this time included leading on a World Bank funded project to investigate the availability of woodfuel for N’Djamena, Chad and GIS work on mapping peatlands in Scotland. Hugh also holds a M.Sc in Environmental Forestry (Bangor University), a B.A. (Hons) Geography (Exeter University) and a Diploma in Management (Derby Business School).

Current role

Hugh leads the Centre for Research Services (CRS). This centre comprises of Communications, Business Development, Facilities, Technical Services and Technical Development teams, with a total of 55 staff working at Forest Research offices and field stations throughout Britain. The Centre for Research Services provides the essential services and support for Forest Research's customers and partners.

This work includes:

  • Corporate support, including Corporate Plans, governance and devolution
  • Managing research sites and buildings
  • Communications
  • Organising knowledge exchange events and activities
  • Seeking and helping to secure external income
  • Developing research based commercial opportunities
  • Experimental design, establishment, maintenance and assessment
  • Plant health assessments (for forests, tree and pest diseases)
  • A wide range of surveys
  • Technology transfer and specialist training

Hugh is also Head of Alice Holt Research Station. This role includes the management and development of the site and with other organisations, including the Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency, who have teams that are co-located at Alice Holt.

Affiliations and achievements

  • Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Trustee, Woodland Heritage
  • Privately manages an ASNW on behalf of the landowner
  • Career mentor on the University of Exeter Career Mentor Scheme, 2014 -2017
  • Graduated from National School of Government’s “Leaders UK” course, 2010