Esther Whitton

National Forest Inventory GIS Manager


Tel:  +44 (0)300 067 5244

Silvan House
231, Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT

Joined FC in 1978 as a Cartographer working in a forest inventory environment including measurement and collation of woodland statistics for the 1980 census of Woodlands and Trees.

Mid 1980’s became involved in the testing and development of the FC’s bespoke MAPLE software for digital mapping. Joined the GIS development group in 1990 with the responsibility of testing the Laserscan digital mapping software and development of the scripts that enabled a cost effective means of digital data capture and mapping. Have since worked on the development of the methodology for the creation of both NIWT and NFI/NWSS woodland maps and surveys and update processes and the subsequent analysis and reporting of results from both.

Current role

National Forest Inventory GIS Manager

Responsible for leading the development and management of:

  • NFI woodland map and woodland ownership spatial data. Ensuring the quality and value of the woodland map data establishing and developing robust data update processes and identifying other reliable, useful data sources that can improve the woodland map accuracy.
  • NFI mapping & analysis projects and woodland map related reporting.
  • Monitoring and reporting of the fieldwork (2nd cycle) schedule, progress, and work flows against statistician set targets.
  • Implementation of a procedure to cover all stages of fieldwork squares submission and invoicing through to invoice payment ensuring all squares submitted and resulting invoices are valid and acceptable.

Current projects

  • National Forest Inventory mapping analysis and reporting
  • Small woods survey mapping analysis and reporting
  • England aligned boundaries mapping and analysis for reporting
  • NFI map gallery

Main recent publications

Small Woodlands, Groups, Lone Trees and Hedgerows

in Great Britain, 2017 Brewer, A. Ditchburn, B. Whitton, E. Ward, A. Halsall, L.

Estimating small woodlands and trees outside of woodlands 12 Mar 2014 Whitton, E., Ditchburn, B

Woodland map report 2011 (2013). Whitton, E.

Forestry Commission: NFI method statement (2011). Whitton, E.

National inventory of woodland and trees (1995–99): methodology Smith, S., Gilbert, J., Bull, G., Gillam, S. and Whitton, E. (2010).