Sustainable management of upland and peatland ecosystems
Much of my early research (1976-79) was based on managing vegetation for agriculture and
wildlife on the peatland soils of the Falkland Islands. In Northern Ireland I conducted research on
management of peatland and upland grasslands for ecosystem services delivery on hill farms. I was
a founder member, and still sit on, the board of the Glenwherry Hill Regeneration Partnership, a
project which aims to deliver multiple objectives for an extensive upland area underpinned by
appropriate science and monitoring. Currently I act as an Environmental Farming Scheme facilitator
for Ulster Wildlife in delivering a farmer-based environmental support group.
I have been involved in agricultural and environmental research in the Falkland Islands since 1976.
From 2013-2016, I was involved in a project researching the impact of potential climate change on
the Island’s terrestrial ecosystems. This project highlighted the risks faced in the Falklands and the
need for a peatland distribution map to help sustainably manage the soil resource to prevent
carbon loss. I subsequently actively participated in a project to complete an online peat and soil
map for the Falklands.
Management prescriptions and monitoring for Agri-environment schemes
Over my research career I: conducted and supervised research into grassland management options
within agri-environment systems, managed and directed Agri-Environment scheme monitoring (for
DARD), was Consultant to AGBIOTA, a 4 year EPA funded agri-environment monitoring project in
I was responsible for the agroforestry research programme in NI from 1988
until 2018. I am a Committee member (previously chairman, Farm Woodland Forum),
representative (for N&S Ireland) on the European Agroforestry Federation and am involved in the
wider promotion of agroforestry on farms throughout Ireland.
Much of my research career has focused on areas which are now seen as highly relevant to helping
government meet its climate change and biodiversity obligations.