My early childhood was in Sussex (after a couple of years in East Africa where I was born), where my interest in landscape started by wandering through the local bluebell woods and watching badgers in the oak woods. I spent my latter childhood amongst the orchards of the Hereford-Gloucester border. On leaving school I had a major dilemma because my arts and science A levels did not lead me into either ‘route’ (and in those dark ages, no-one advised me there might be a career that would build on both). So I spent several ‘years out’ doing a range of things before deciding to go as a relatively mature student to study Landscape Architecture at Leeds University.
After graduation, I did a year with Landscape Design Associates in Peterborough and a couple of years with David Bellamy Associates and Woolerton Truscott in Durham. In between I had long trips to South America and South Africa as well as various European countries. Frustrations in practice led me to take a year at Harvard (Kennedy Scholarship). On my return to the UK in 1994 I gained a part-time and then full-time post as Lecturer with Newcastle University. Since then my career has been academic, except I have worked in Bangladesh, India and China in recent years. My main interests are in big landscapes, sustainability and cultural landscapes. Generally I like to be in the middle of nowhere with trees. I never cease to be amazed by the natural world and cultural imprints upon it. I suppose I am a ‘landscape planner’ rather than a ‘designer’.
I was appointed as a Director of Landscape Research Group and Deputy Editor of Landscape Research in 2004. I became Editor in 2009, overseeing the expansion of the journal from five to six issues in 2010.