David Edwards is the project leader for Forest Research.
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.
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.