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Forest Resilience series wins James Cup

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

By Becky Wilkinson · June 26, 2019

RFS President Andrew Woods presents the James Cup to Jonathan Spencer MBE

Jonathan, who was until recently Head of Planning and Environment, Forest Enterprise, won the award for the first two parts of a series Forest Resilience in British Forests, Woods & Plantations which appeared in January 2018 and July 2018.The first two papers in the series can be read here.

The award is made in memory of NDG James, a distinguished forester and former President of the RFS and is presented to the author of the best original article for the year in our Quarterly Journal of Forestry (QJF). The winner is chosen by a panel of judges drawn from among RFS members.

One judge commented: “The article was written in a way that provided this particular “non-scientist” with a really clear and concise understanding of the interconnectedness of the biological and ecological elements of a resilient, healthy forested ecosystem. Jonathan provided both a coherent explanation of the science that supports the effects of climate change, the role of mycorrhizal fungi and forest biodiversity and his article also equips the woodland manager/owner with a strategy for implementing management systems that ultimately support a resilient woodscape.”

Another described them as: “Very readable summary of a complex issue, combining practical implications with ecological science in an informative and pragmatic summary.”

Jonathan was presented with the James Cup by RFS President Andrew Woods at the Evolving the Forest Symposium at Dartington Hall hosted by the RFS Timber Strategies at

He says: “I am honoured to receive this award for my work on forest resilience. We are facing extraordinary challenges in forest management over the coming few decades and reaching such a well placed audience through the QJF, with such large areas of woodland and forest under third influence, is an invaluable means of rooting these ideas into active practice on the ground.

“Receiving the award is an honour, but I hope the work reflects all the support and encouragement I’ve had from so many foresters, ecologists, mycologists and woodland managers over many years. Thanks are due to all of them.”

Jonathan was awarded an MBE for services to woodlands, the environment and nature conservation in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list.

The QJF enjoys a world-wide circulation with subscribers from many different countries; all RFS members receive it free and are able to access articles on line. More details here