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Dr Bianca Ambrose-Oji is head of a dynamic Society and Environment Research Group that focuses on understanding the complex relationships between forestry, the environment and society.

Bianca is an environmental sociologist who joined Forest Research in October 2008. Her forestry career spans more than 25 years as a social forester which includes time as an action researcher, consultant, practitioner, professional trainer and a university lecturer. She has considerable experience working in the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia. Bianca is the programme manager of FR’s Woodland Creation and Expansion research.

Bianca’s research concentrates on:

  • The behaviour of woodland owners and managers and forestry businesses
  • Public and community engagement in woodlands, forestry and greenspace governance
  • The development of adaptive and innovative forest and greenspace governance
  • Nature connection and wellbeing
  • Evaluating the impact of woodland, forestry and tree related projects and programmes
  • Forestry skills development and learning

Bianca currently leads research projects focusing on:


Forestry Staff Bianca Ambrose Oji.509e510b.fill 600x600 1

Bianca Ambrose-Oji

BSc, MSc (Oxon), PhD
Science group leader
Society and environment research group (SERG)

Forest Research

620 Bristol Business Park

Coldharbour Lane


BS16 1EJ


Related Research


Community Tree Nurseries

Evidencing the potential for community tree nurseries to contribute to satisfying current British demand for quality, diverse, biosecure tree stock.

Status current
Woodland Creation and Expansion - Programme 6

This research aims to find out how to expand woodland cover in a way that maximises ecological and social benefits. The programme complements the other six programmes and follows collaborative principles to produce tools which support land managers, stakeholders and policymakers to increase engagement with woodland creation activities

A National Conversation: Towards a Resilience Culture

A societal-scale foundation assessment of the public's views of biosecurity and plant / tree health issues, followed by targeted research into how biosecure behaviour can be encouraged

Building knowledge networks to connect farmers with tree health issues

Research investigating barriers and solutions for translating forest and land manager knowledge into action to prevent and mitigate tree pest and disease impacts and build resilience into our treescapes.

Public Perceptions of Urban Trees

How do contemporary Great British attitudes to urban trees vary between locality, individuals and communities with different socio-demographic backgrounds? Forest Research aims to investigate this through a rapid evidence review, a national questionnaire and a series of focus groups.

Identifying Opportunities for Woodland Creation in Central Scotland

This research aims to assist those responsible for woodland creation in the Central Scotland Green Network area in identifying landowners and locations which offer the ‘best bets’ for new tree planting. In addition, the research seeks to inform on how communication and outreach can be tailored to be more effective.

Analysis and development of local authority tree strategies

A series of nine local authority case studies in England to understand the processes, drivers and barriers behind tree strategy development and implementation.

Co-designing tree health policy options with land managers

Co-design of tree health policy options with land managers for resilient treescapes post EU-Exit as part of Future Farming and Countryside Programme (FFC).

Assessing public and stakeholder attitudes to pine martens

Forest Research is undertaking attitudinal research with stakeholders and the public to understand levels of awareness about pine marten ecology, and perspectives around a potential re-introduction.

Green Surge

GREEN SURGE is an EU funded collaborative project between 24 partners in 11 European countries, targeted at meeting the demand by green space practitioners for knowledge and practical tools to improve the planning and governance of urban green spaces.

Kew Grow Wild Programme Evaluation

The purpose of the Grow Wild evaluation is to assess the impact on the people participating in two different kinds of activities, that make up the Grow Wild project.

Public engagement in forestry

Supporting public engagement in forest governance and management

Community Woodlands and Forestry

Researching community involvement in woodland ownership, management and forest governance

Behaviour of private landowners and managers

Research into private landowner decision-making, culture and their attitudes towards forestry.

Evaluation of the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme

This page summarises Forest Research’s evaluation of the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme.

Spatial analysis and prioritisation of the social and cultural values attached to woodlands and forests

Project to develop and then test methods for mapping and spatially analysing the range of social and cultural ecosystem services provided by different kinds of woodlands to different segments of society

The social value and governance of street trees

The page summarises Forest Research’s work to identify the social and cultural values of street trees and determine the formal and informal rules and regulations that influence their management.

Evaluating the uptake of decision support systems in the UK forestry sector

This page summarises the findings of a Forest Research study to assess the level of uptake of decision support systems within the UK forestry and land use sectors.

Review: Landowners' attitudes to woodland creation and management in the UK

The page summarises findings from Forest Research’s review and analysis of the values, attitudes and knowledge that landowners hold about woodland management and creation.

Social diversity and employment in the forestry profession

The page summarises findings from Forest Research’s social marketing scoping study to develop strategies to increase the number of Forestry Commission employees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Partnership working: third sector, local government and agency engagement with the Forestry Commission

The page summarises findings from Forest Research’s assessment of the most effective forms of partnership at the Forest Commission.

Governance of community forests and woodlands in Great Britain

Understanding the range of meanings, experiences and impacts of community forestry in Great Britain across a variety of social and environmental contexts

Evidence review: Equality and inclusion of social diversity with respect to woods and forests in the UK

The page summarises the findings a comprehensive review by Forest Research into equality and diversity in the UK forestry sector, including an analysis of how trees, woods and forests meet the main principles of diversity policy.

Assessing the contribution of forestry grants to equal access for disabled people for recreation in Scottish woods

The page summarises the findings of work by the OPENspace Research Centre in Edinburgh to develop methodologies for evaluating how much grant schemes support disability access to woodlands.

Exploring disabled people's perceptions and use of forest recreation facilities

The page summarises the findings of a study by Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research to assess how disabled people perceived and experienced woodlands, and how these issues affect their use.

Equal access: enhancing access for disabled people to recreation opportunities, facilities and services in Scottish forests

The page summarises the findings of work by the OPENspace Research Centre to develop new guidance, tools and support for Forestry Commission staff to promote equal access for disabled people.

Accessibility and racial equality in the Forestry Commission

The page summarises findings from Forest Research’s assessment of the Forestry Commission’s fulfilment of duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and its implementation of the Race Equality Scheme.

Related Publications


Woodland managers' understanding of resilience and their future information needs

This Research Note provides an investigation into private woodland owners’ and managers’ understanding of resilience in regard to forest and woodland management in the UK.



Land managers behaviour and forest resilience

Landowners and managers are being urged to change their behaviours and practice to increase forest resilience, this research describes some of the barriers to change including the different attitudes and beliefs of different kinds of land managers around uncertainty and risk, and the need for information and guidance which takes these perspectives into account.

Influencing behaviour for resilient treescapes: Rapid Evidence Assessment

The Rapid Evidence Assessment considers the following: The impact of policy tools – grants, subsidies, programmes, provision of advice – on the response of land managers to tree pests and diseases The potential of formal networks to act as disseminators of information and knowledge, and mediators of change.

What do Forest Managers want to know about adaptation?

Research exploring what forest managers want to know about climate change adaptation. Adaptation to climate change involves adjusting Forest Management to anticipate future changes. Starting to adapt woodland and forests to the changing climate now is important if owners and society wish to continue to benefit from the range of services they provide, capitalise on opportunities […]

Community based forest enterprises in Britain: Two organising typologies

Business and enterprise models in community based forest enterprises in Britain In a paper published in the journal Forest Policy and Economics, Forest Research social scientists, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Anna Lawrence and Amy Stewart, examine diverse community-based and social enterprise business models by using a systematic framework to organise evidence from 33 case studies across Wales, Scotland […]

A framework for sharing experiences of community woodland groups

Community woodland groups are growing, and there are now over 650 groups in England, Scotland and Wales. The rise is the result of both social pressure and changes in policy. Groups are keen to learn from each other’s experiences, and policy stakeholders seek evidence of the effectiveness of past and current policy. While some experiences […]

Social media and forestry: A scoping report

Scoping report to help inform thinking about the value of social media to the Forestry Commission, how it can be more effectively utilised and what objectives and policy goals it can be used to help achieve and so provide a basis for identifying specific future research needs to support the Forestry Commission’s ongoing implementation of, […]

Public engagement and forestry: key lessons for working in urban areas

Research report providing information about three case studies in England (Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire), Wales (Craig Y Dinas, South Wales), and Scotland (Bishop’s Estate, Glasgow) that show how a variety of public engagement processes were implemented and what the outcomes of including people were in different urban contexts. By Paul Tabbush and Bianca Ambrose-Oji. Related pages People, trees and […]

Principles of public engagement

Research report that synthesises the different principles involved in planning public engagement around forestry and woodland decision-making or service delivery, characterises successful processes and outlines core values. By Paul Tabbush and Bianca Ambrose-Oji. Related pages People, trees and woodlands Social forestry research

Volunteering and Forestry Commission Wales: Scope, opportunities, and barriers

Report providing scoping evidence and information needed to understand current volunteering activity and opportunities and barriers to using volunteers as a consequence of the legal and any other pertinent issues as it applies in Wales. April 2011. By: Bianca Ambrose-Oji. Related pages People, trees and woodlands Social forestry research

Woods and forests in British society: progress in research and practice

By Bianca Ambrose-Oji and Karen Fancett (Eds.). Papers presented at the Trees and Forests in British society conference in April 2010. Forest Research Monograph: 3ISBN 978-0-85538-828-7 Related pages People, trees and woodlands Social forestry research

Public engagement in forestry: a toolbox for public engagement in forest and woodland planning

The toolbox provides information and ideas to forest and woodland managers on ways to engage individuals, communities and organisations in the decision-making process, design and management of forestry projects and activities. This includes developing and maintaining equal access to the many public benefits forestry can provide for all members of society.

Social diversity in the forestry profession

Research report into employing a social marketing approach to investigating and planning interventions designed to change the behaviour of people looking for work. Specifically, the application behaviour of Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates in future Forestry Commission recruitments, to see increasing numbers of applications from them. By Bianca Ambrose-Oji. Related pages People, trees and woodlands Social forestry research

Social research and the Forestry Commission: Perceptions and applications

Report from study that addressed how the knowledge and understanding of social research affects policy, planning, practice and outcomes within the Forestry Commission. By Mariella Marzano, Anna Lawrence and Bianca Ambrose-Oji. Related pages People, trees and woodlands Social forestry research

Forestry Commission working with civil society

Report detailing Forestry Commission England engagement and partnership working with third sector and civil society organisations. This is being used to prepare an action plan for the joint agency Third Sector statement (Compact) as well as inform government reviews of departmental engagement with civil society. August 2010. By: Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Jenny Wallace, Anna Lawrence, and Amy […]

Equality and inclusion of social diversity with respect to woods and forests in the UK: An evidence review

Research report summarising the available evidence of the impact of trees, woods and forests on different sections of British society. By Bianca Ambrose-Oji.

Peer reviewed journal articles


Marzano, Mariella, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Clare Hall, and Darren Moseley. 2020. “Pests in the City: Managing Public Health Risks and Social Values in Response to Oak Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) in the United Kingdom.”   11 (2):199.

Ambrose-Oji, Bianca, Jon Stokes, and Glyn D Jones. 2019. “When the Bough Breaks: How Do Local Authorities in the UK Assess Risk and Prepare a Response to Ash Dieback?”  Forests 10 (886).

van der Jagt, A.; Smith, M.; Ambrose-Oji, B.; Konijnendijk, C.; Giannico, V.; Haase, D.; Lafortezza, R.; Nastran, M.; Pintar, M.; Železnikar, S., et al. (2019) Co-creating urban green infrastructure connecting people and nature: A guiding framework and approachJournal of Environmental Management, 233, 757-767.

Young, J.C.; Marzano, M.; Quine, C.P.; Ambrose-Oji, B. (2018) Working with decision-makers for resilient forests: A case study from the UKForest Ecology and Management 417, 291-300,

Pauleit, S.; Ambrose-Oji, B.; Andersson, E.; Anton, B.; Buijs, A.; Haase, D.; Elands, B.; Hansen, R.; Kowarik, I.; Kronenberg, J., et al. (2018) Advancing Urban Green Infrastructure in Europe: outcomes and reflections from the GREEN SURGE project. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 2018.

O’Brien, L.; Ambrose- Oji, B.; Wheeler, B. (2018) Santé mentale et bien-être : L’apport des arbres et des forêts au bénéfice de différentes populations en Grande-Bretagne (Mental health and wellbeing: The contribution of trees and forests to diverse populations in Britain). Revue Forestière Française Spécial forêts et santé publique.

Buijs, A.; Hansen, R.; Van der Jagt, S.; Ambrose-Oji, B.; Elands, B.; Lorance Rall, E.; Mattijssen, T.; Pauleit, S.; Runhaar, H.; Stahl Olafsson, A., et al. (2018) Mosaic governance for urban green infrastructure: Upscaling active citizenship from a local government perspective. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 2018

Buijs, A.E., Mattijssen, T.J.M., Van der Jagt, A.P.N., Ambrose-Oji, B., Andersson, E., Elands, B.H.M. et al. (2017) Active citizenship for urban green infrastructure: fostering the diversity and dynamics of citizen contributions through mosaic governanceCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 22: 1-6.

Van der Jagt, A.; B. Elands; B. Ambrose- Oji; Buizer, M., É. Gerőházi; and M. Steen Møller (2016) Participatory Governance of Urban Green Spaces: Trends and Practices in the EU. Nordic Journal of Architecture Research

Marzano, M., Ambrose-Oji, B. and Dandy, N. (2016) Employee relocation in the public sector: Perspectives from forestry. Scottish Forestry, 70 (1), 41-47

Van der Jagt, A.; B. Ambrose- Oji; and A. Lawrence. (2015). Wildlife and conservation in community woods: Business as usual? ECOS. 36(1):36-43

Ambrose- Oji, B.; A. Lawrence; and A. Stewart. (2014). Community based forest enterprises in Britain: two organising typologies. Forest Policy and Economics, 58:65-74

Lawrence, A., and Ambrose-Oij, B., (2014). Beauty, friends, power, money: navigating the impacts of community woodlands. Geographical Journal, 181(3): 268–279

Achigan-Dako, E.G.; S. N’danikou; F. Assogba-Komlan; B. Ambrose-Oji; A. Ahanchede; and M.W. Pasquini. (2011). Diversity, Geographical, and Consumption Patterns of Traditional Vegetables in Sociolinguistic Communities in Benin: Implications for Domestication and Utilization. Economic Botany 65:129-14

Morris. J., O’Brien, L., Ambrose-Oji, B., Lawrence. A. and Carter C. (2011). Access to all? Barriers to accessing woodlands and forests in the UK. Local Environment. 16(4):375-396.

Ambrose Oji, B (2011). Wild Product Governance: Finding Policies that Work for Non-timber Forest Products. Mountain Research and Development 31:178-179.

Elias, A., Ambrose-Oji, B., & Karripia, R.S., (2007) Rural women’s potential for development: Groups, social capital, access and utilisation of development communication in Dire Dawa administrative council, Eastern Ethiopia. International Development Review

Ambrose Oji, B. (2003). Reviewing the contribution of NTFPs to livelihoods of the forest poor: evidence from the tropical forest in South West Cameroon. International Forestry Review, 5(2):106-117.

Ambrose-Oji, B. (2000). Can non-timber forest products come from a plantation? Non-Wood News, 7: 20-21.

Lawrence, A. and Ambrose-Oji, B., with Lysinge, R. and Tako, C. (2000). Exploring local values for forest biodiversity on Mount Cameroon. Mountain Research and Development, 20(2):112-115.

Books and book chapters

Ambrose-Oji, Bianca. 2020. “Socio-ecological sustainability and new forms of governance: Community forestry and citizen involvement with trees, woods and forests.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology, edited by Katharine Legun, Julie C Keller, Michael Carolan and Michael M Bell. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Fors, Hanna, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Helena Mellqvist, and Märit Jansson. 2020. “Participation in urban open space governance and management.” In Urban Open Space Governance and Management, edited by Märit  Jansson and Thomas B. Randrup. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

O’Brien, L.; B. Ambrose- Oji; S. Waite; J. Aronsson; and M. Tighe. (2016). Learning on the Move: Green Exercise for Children and Young People. In Green Exercise: Linking Nature, Health and Wellbeing, ed. J. Barton; R. Bragg; C. Wood; and J. Pretty.

Lawrence, A., Van der Jagt, A., Ambrose- Oji, B., Stewart, A., (2014). Local authorities in Scotland: a catalyst for community engagement in urban forests? Trees, People and the Built Environment II. Institute of Chartered Foresters

Lawrence, A., and Ambrose-Oji., B. (2013). A framework for sharing experiences of community woodland groupsResearch Notes. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission.

Ambrose-Oji, B. (2011). Mainstreaming gender in the UK forest sector: livelihoods and equality of access to forest benefits. In Forests and Gender, ed. L. Aguilar; D.M.P.D. Shaw; and A. Quesada-Aguilar, 83-88. Gland, Switzerland and New York, NY: IUCN and WEDO.

Ambrose-Oji, B. (2010). Environmental Sociology and International Forestry: Historical Overview and Future Directions in Woodgate, G and Redclift, M (eds) The International Handbook of Sociology III. Edward Elgar, London. ISBN 978-1-84844-088-3.

Ambrose-Oji, B. (2009). Urban food systems and African indigenous vegetables: Defining the Spaces and Places for African Indigenous Vegetables in Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture pp 1-34 in Shackleton, C.M., Pasquini, M.W. and Drescher, A.W., (eds) African Indigenous Vegetables in Urban Agriculture. Earthscan, London. ISBN 978-1-8440-7715-1.

Ambrose-Oji, B., and Mughogho, N. (2007). The uses of Adansonia grandidieri, A. rubrostipa and A. za as vegetable oils. In van der Vossen, H and Makimilo, G eds. Vegetable Oils PROTA Volume 14, PROTA Wageningen, Netherlands.

Ambrose-Oji, B., with Allmark, T., Buckley, P., Clements, B. and Woodgate, G. (2005). The Environmental State in the Forest: Of Lookouts, Lumberjacks, Leopards and Losers? Livelihoods and participatory forest biodiversity conservation in SW Cameroon. In Redclift, M. and Woodgate, G., eds, New Developments in Environmental Sociology, London. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Purushothaman, S, S Purohit, and B Ambrose-Oji. (2004). The Informal Collective as a Space for Participatory Planning: The Peri-Urban Interface in Hubli-Dharwad Twin City Area. In Purkayastha, B. and Subramaniam, M., eds, The Power of Women’s Informal Networks: Lessons in Social Change from South Asia and West Africa  USA: Lexington Books.

Stockdale, M., and Ambrose, B. (1996). Mapping and NTFP Inventory: Participatory Assessment Methods for Forest-dwelling Communities in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In; Carter, J. (ed.) Recent Approaches to Participatory Forest Resource Assessment, ODI, London.