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RFS - James Cup Award

The James Cup is presented annually to the author of the best original article in our Quarterly Journal of Forestry (QJF). The award is made in memory of NDG James, a distinguished forester and former President of the RFS.


Nick Bolton Crop
Nick Bolton 

Nick Bolton

Tree Risk Management

Nick Bolton explains landowners' responsibilities concerning potential risks posed by trees on their property.

Judges said: " No one wants to be responsible for injury or worse to fellow citizens ... Nick gives a very practical explanation of the legal issues inherent in tree ownership with useful references to statute, regulation and cases making his article essential reading for all members."

Nick is an arboricutural consultant and director at Lockhart Garratt Ltd. His article first appeared in the April 2020 issue of the QJF.






Hejonathanspencer2hs Jamescup2020
 Jonathan Spencer MBE

2018 - 2019   

Jonathan Spencer MBE



Forest Resilience in British Forests, Woods & Plantations - the ecological components 

Forest Resilience in British Forests, Woods & Plantations: Plantation forests of spruce and other conifers



Forest Resilience in British Forests, Woods & Plantations: Past and Future Forests in Britain

Forest Resilience in British Forests, Woods & Plantations: Forestry practice and 21st century challenges.

The James Cup has twice been awarded to Jonathan Spencer MBE for a series on Forest Resilience, praised for making the complex science around climate change and woodland management accessible to all. 




Peter Savill, Scott Wilson, Bill Mason, Richard Jinks, Victoria Stokes and Tom Christian

Jamescup2018 Awpresents Sl 030418 2

 Peter Savill, left, receives the James Cup from RFS President Andrew Woods

 Alternative spruces. Part 1 - Serbian spruce (Picea omorika)


An article examining Serbian spruce as a potential alternative to Sitka and Norway spruces to build resilience in forests won the prestigious James Cup.

Co-authored by Peter Savill, Scott Wilson, Bill Mason, Richard Jinks, Victoria Stokes and Tom Christian, the article appeared in the January 2017 issue of the Quarterly Journal of Forestry (QJF). It is part of a Species Profile Project looking at tree species that might be used in Britain if climate change proceeds as predicted, and in the light of the threats posed by tree pests and diseases.

Authors examined Serbian spruce's habitat and ecology, record in Britain, silviculture, growth, genetics and provenance, and potential uses. They concluded it might have a role in eastern Britain where Sitka spruce is expected to suffer from moisture stress and within spaced-tree silvopastural systems. However, they said other species were likely to be more productive alternatives - and went on to examine several in part 2 of the article.

The winning article was described by one judge as a well-illustrated article which: “… contains a vast amount of detailed information that is succinctly presented on virtually all aspects of the species from seed origin through nursery and silvicultural operations to timber characteristics. It could be considered a source of future reference for Picea omorika that could be consulted on virtually any aspect of the species.”



Previous winners of the James Cup

2016 - The Redwoods and Red Cedar

2015 - Restoration of Peri-urban Hazel Coppice 

Members can find details of earlier winners through the online edition of the QJF or email for more details.