David Edwards, BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Social Scientist

David Edwards

Email: david.edwards@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5932
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

David joined Forest Research in 2004. He has an interdisciplinary background, with a BSc in Biology (Durham) and MSc degrees in Forestry (Oxford) and African Studies (Edinburgh). His PhD thesis examined changes in land-use and ethnic and religious identities in southern Tanzania throughout the twentieth century. Prior to that, he worked for the UK Government on community forestry and rural development programmes in Africa and South Asia.

Current role

Project Leader/Programme Manager, Social and Economic Research Group

David leads research in two related agendas: the interfaces between science, policy and practice, and the social and cultural values and meanings associated with forests. He manages the FC-funded research programme ‘Integrating research for policy and practice’ which seeks to understand and enhance the impact of forest-related research by improving integration between researchers and the quality of knowledge exchange with decision-makers and land managers across the public and private sectors.

He has developed and applied a range of frameworks, methods and tools to assess the cultural ecosystem services associated with forests. These include: a) social and cultural indicators for monitoring and evaluation of forestry policies and programmes; b) modelling long-term impacts of changes in management regimes on the recreational value of forests across Europe, and c) deliberative processes with environmental artists, forest managers and local communities to create new public discourses around the cultural meanings and values associated with ancient semi-natural woodland.

Current projects

SIMWOOD – Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood (European Commission)
I coordinate the evaluation of 20 regional projects across Europe, which test innovative ways to encourage wood mobilisation from under-utilised forests. The evaluation framework is based on reflection and feedback generated with stakeholders in regular ‘Regional Learning Labs’ using a common set of questions to assess, compare and learn between projects and regions, and synthesise findings for future initiatives.

WetlandLIFE – Managing mosquitos and socio-ecological value of wetlands for wellbeing (RCUK Valuing Nature Programme)
My role is to help generate new knowledge, narratives and values associated with wetlands and mosquitos. Specifically, I contribute to the development of conceptual frameworks to assess cultural ecosystem services, and end-user engagement and impact generation. I also facilitate contributions from environmental artists who we hope will work with researchers and local communities to help us understand and engage with wetlands and mosquitoes in new ways.

Integrating research for policy and practice to deliver resilient forests (Forestry Commission)
Programme Manager of an applied research programme, core funded by the Forestry Commission, to support delivery of its Science and Innovation Strategy. The programme seeks to enhance the impact of Forest Research activities through improvements to integration, reflective practice and knowledge exchange across the forestry sector. It comprises: a) improved practical and theoretical understanding, b) profiling of the status of research integration and knowledge exchange, c) workshops, seminars and other media to facilitate dialogue, collaboration and learning, and d) case studies to explore, learn from, and enhance the effectiveness of FR’s response to specific research challenges.

The Future Forest: Black Wood: Rannoch Scotland – Realising the cultural value of Caledonian pinewoods (Creative Scotland/Forestry Commission)
Contributions to an arts-led participatory process to explore the meanings and values associated with the Caledonian pinewoods of Scotland with a focus on the Black Wood of Rannoch. I helped to design and implement a series of artists’ residencies, guided forest walks, meetings, public debates, workshops, and an arts exhibition and seminar series ‘Sylva Caledonia’ held at Summerhall, Edinburgh, in Spring 2015. The process was supported by research into woodland ecology and history; translations of Gaelic place names, and the production and use of sculpture and video.

DIABOLO – Distributed, integrated and harmonised forest information for bioeconomy outlooks (European Commission)
A project that seeks to harmonise and integrate data from National Forest Inventories (NFIs) across Europe. My role is to help understand how social data is currently collected within NFIs and used across Europe, and demonstrate the potential of NFIs to inform forest recreation research and policy in two case study countries where inclusion of social data within NFIs is well advanced (UK and Denmark). We will then make recommendations on how different European countries might collect, harmonise and use NFI social data in the future.

Land managers’ values, attitudes and practices (Forestry Trust, Sylva Foundation, Woodland Trust, and Forestry Commission Scotland)
A programme of qualitative social research with land managers who responded to the British Woodland Survey (BWS) 2015 to understand attitudes and responses towards climate change, pests and diseases and other tree-related risks. The findings are being combined with data from the BWS and used to inform a debate with policy and practice stakeholders across GB to identify shared priorities for the future of the forestry sector in a changing political climate, and to design the scope and questions for the BWS 2017.

Research areas

  • Science-policy-practice interface
  • Evaluating research impact
  • Behaviour change
  • Cultural ecosystem services
  • Participatory modelling
  • Governance of forest landscapes
  • Bio-cultural heritage

Main recent publications

Peer reviewed journal articles

O'Brien, L., Ambrose-Oji, B., Edwards, D. and Morris, J. (in review). Volunteers’ contribution to community flood resilience in England: new and existing governance approaches to flood risk management. Journal of Flood Risk Management.

Collins, T., Goto, R. and Edwards, D. (2017). A critical forest arts practice: The Black Wood of Rannoch. Landscape Research.

Edwards, D., Collins, T. and Goto, R. (2016). An arts-led dialogue to elicit shared, plural and cultural values of ecosystems. Ecosystem Services 21: 319–328

Verkerk, P.J., Mavsar, R., Giergiczny, M., Lindner, M., Edwards, D. and Schelhaas, M.J. (2014). Assessing impacts of intensified biomass production and biodiversity protection on ecosystem services provided by European forests. Ecosystem Services, 9(2014): 155-165.

Young, J.C., Waylen, K.A., Sarkki, Sl, Albon, S., Bainbridge, I., Balian, E., Davidson, J., Edwards, D., Fairley, R., Margerison, C., McCracken, D., Owen, R., Quine, C.P., Stewart-Roper, C., Thompson, D., Tinch, R., Van den Hove, S. and Watt, A. (2014). Improving the science-policy dialogue to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation: having conversations rather than talking at one-another. Biodiversity Conservation, 23: 387-404.

Tuomasjukka, D., Lindner, M. and Edwards, D. (2013). A Concept for Testing Decision Support Tools in Participatory Processes Applied to the ToSIA Tool. Challenges, 2013, 4(1), 34-55.

Stewart, A., Edwards, D. and Lawrence, A. (2013). Improving the science-policy-practice interface: Decision Support System uptake and use in the forestry sector in Great Britain. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss G. (2012). Public preferences across Europe for different forest stand types as sites for recreation. Ecology and Society 17(1): 27.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss G. (2012). Public preferences for structural attributes of forests: towards a pan-European perspective. Forest Policy and Economics 19: 12-19.

Edwards, D.M., Jensen, F.S., Marzano, M., Mason, B., Pizzirani, S. and Schelhaas, M.J. (2011). A Theoretical Framework to Assess the Impacts of Forest Management on the Recreational Value of European Forests. Ecological Indicators 11: 81-89.

Mortimer, S., Mauchline, A., Park, J., Finn, J., Edwards, D. & Morris, J. (2010). Evaluation of Agri-Environment and Forestry Schemes with Multiple Objectives. Eurochoices 2010 9(1) , 48-54.

Book chapters

Edwards, D., Collins, T. and Goto, R. (2016) Does the Conservation status of a Caledonian Forest also indicate Cultural Ecosystem Value? Chapter 9 in: Agnoletti, M. and Emanueli, F. (eds) Biocultural Diversity in Europe. Environmental History, Vol. 5. Springer, Berlin, Germany.

Edwards, D. (2015) Cultural and spiritual values. pp 207-8 in: State of Europe’s Forests 2015. Forest Europe.

Collins, T., Goto, R. and Edwards, D. (2014). Future Forest: Caledonian Black Wood, Aware Access. pp 66-81 in: Griffith, D. (ed). Imagining Natural Scotland. Creative Scotland, UK.

Edwards, D., Stewart, A., Smith, M., Pizzirani, S. and Gardiner, B. (2012). The application of tools for sustainability impact assessment to support forest landscape decision-making in Scotland. Pp 93-98 in: Proceedings of the conference; Valuing Ecosystems: Policy, Economic and Management Interactions, SAC-SEPA, Edinburgh, April 2012.

Quine, C.P. and Edwards, D.M. (2011). Why do woodlands matter to Scotland? The source of the fifth element and more. Chapter 30 in: Marrs, S.J., Foster, S., Hendrie, C., Mackey, E.C. and Thompson, D.B.A. (eds). The Changing Nature of Scotland, TSO Scotland, Edinburgh.

Edwards, D. (2011). Indicator 6.11: Cultural and Spiritual Values. pp 139-140 in: State of Europe's Forests 2011. Status and Trends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe (PDF-45Mb). FOREST EUROPE, UNECE and FAO.

Tabbush, P., Frederkisen, P. and Edwards D.M. (2008). Impact Assessment in the European Commission in Relation to Multifunctional Land Use. pp 35-54 in: Helming, K., Perez-Soba, M. and Tabbush, P. (eds) (2008). Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes. Springer Verlag, Berlin and Heldelberg.

FC and FR publications

Saraev, V., Edwards, D. and Valatin, G. (2017). Timber, carbon and wind risk: towards an integrated model of optimal rotation length: A prototype model. Final Report. Forest Research, Roslin, Scotland.

Edwards, D., Saraev, V. and Valatin, G. (2017). Central Scotland Green Network Evaluation of forestry in 2015. Forest Research, Roslin, Scotland. 41pp.

Edwards, D., Saraev, V. and Valatin, G. (2014). Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) 2010 Forestry Baseline Survey: Final Report. Forest Research, Roslin, Scotland. 36pp.

Moseley, D., Dandy, N., Edwards, D. and Valatin, G. (2014). Potential behavioural policy ‘nudges’ to encourage woodland creation for climate change mitigation. Forest Research, Roslin, Scotland. 39pp.

Edwards, D., Bathgate, S., Mason, B. and Nicoll, B. (2013). The application of climate change models to support forestry decision-making: Stakeholder perspectives from MOTIVE and ForeStClim. Forest Research, UK. 14pp.

Stewart, A., Edwards, D. and Lawrence, A. (2013). Uptake of Decision Support Systems in the forestry sector in Great Britain: final report. Forest Research, UK. 38pp.

Contract and project reports

Hemery, G., Ambrose-Oji, B., Atkinson, G., Edwards, D., Lloyd, S., O’Brien, L., Reid, C., Townsend, M., Weir, J., Yeomans, A., Petrokofsky, G.P. (2015) Awareness, actions and aspirations among Britain's forestry community to environmental change: Report of the British Woodlands Survey 2015. 31pp.

Collins, T., Goto, R. and Edwards, D. (2014). Future Forest, Black Wood, Rannoch Scotland. Landscape Research Group and Forest Research, UK. 52pp.

Kenter, J.O., Reed, M.S., Everard, M., Irvine, K.N., O’Brien, E., Molloy, C., Bryce, R., Brady, E., Christie, M., Church, A., Collins, T., Cooper, N., Davies, A., Edwards, D., Evely, A., Fazey, I., Goto, R., Hockley, N., Jobstvogt, N., Orchard-Webb, J., Ravenscroft, N., Ryan, M., Watson, V. (2014). Shared, plural and cultural values: A handbook for decision-makers. UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow-on phase. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC.

Edwards, D., O’Brien, L., Ambrose-Oji, B. and Morris, J. (2014). Work Package 4 Report: Issues and options concerning FCRM volunteering. Report SC120013, Environment Agency, Bristol, UK. 8pp

O’Brien, L., Ambrose-Oji, B., Morris, J., Edwards, D. and Williams, R. (2014). Volunteers’ contribution to flood resilience. Environment Agency. Bristol, UK. 8pp.

Sievanen T, Edwards D, Fredman P, Jensen F, Vistad, OI (eds) (2013). Social indicators in the forest sector in Northern Europe: a review focusing on nature-based recreation and tourism. Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss, G. (2010). Public preferences for silvicultural attributes of European forests (PDF-632K). EFORWOOD Deliverable D2.3.3, Forest Research, UK. 89pp.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss, G. (2010). Assessment of the recreational value of European forest management alternatives (PDF-436K). EFORWOOD Deliverable D2.3.6., Forest Research, UK. 50pp.

Schelhaas, M-J., Edwards, D., Didion, M., Hengeveld, G., Nabuurs, G-J., Mason, B., Lindner, M., Moiseyev, A., Jay, M., Jensen, F., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss, G. (2010). Modelling the impacts of forest management alternatives on recreational values in Europe (PDF-210K). EFORWOOD Deliverable D2.3.7, Forest Research, UK. 19pp.

Full publications list