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Clare’s research interests and experience are in the investigation of attitudes to environmental issues in order to understand how to facilitate and encourage behavioural change. She has particular research interest in the social pillar of sustainability, and in cultural ecosystem services. This extends to seeking to understand how best to ensure these are given equal weighting with economic and environmental considerations in environmental decision-making and land management. She has always been committed to multi-disciplinary research and in the application of mixed methods, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigation, as appropriate.

Dr Clare Hall joined Forest Research in 2017, having previously worked as a social scientist in academic, policy and non-profit-making sectors. Previous employers include Zero Waste Scotland, Cardiff University and the Scottish Agricultural College (now Scotland’s Rural College). She was also seconded to Defra’s Plant Health Policy Team to work on social science issues relating to tree health in 2012/2013.

Behavioural Scientist
Society and environment research group (SERG)


Northern Research Station

Bush Estate



Related Research


Tributes to Trees

By analysing submissions to the Tributes to Trees website, Forest Research found that people express emotional and sensory experiences from their connections with trees, woodlands and forests, and these are inextricably linked to different places, people and activities

Status completed


Biosecurity engagement with hikers at Rowardennan in Scotland

Following the discovery of Phytophthora ramorum close to Rowardennan in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Forest Research was commissioned to carry out questionnaires with hikers in the area to investigate their awareness of and engagement with the topic of tree pests and diseases, and biosecurity.

Status completed
Evaluation of the Mission: Invertebrate Programme

In 2017 the social scientists at Forest Research undertook an evaluation of the Mission Invertebrate programme run by The Royal Parks in London.

Visitor experiences and impressions of Bedgebury: the Pinetum and wider forest

The Forestry Commission wanted to understand more about how visitors to Bedgebury use the Pinetum and wider forest. Forest Research social scientists investigated the experiences and opinions of visitors to Bedgebury through a series of focus groups and trail walks with participants through the forest.

Related Publications


Preferences for natural features and artificial infrastructure in woodlands and forests

This review provides evidence of preferences for artificial infrastructure and facilities, and other natural features (alongside trees) that different people favour in different treescapes. Evidence is drawn from 41 international studies from 2002-2022.



Public perspectives of treescape creation, expansion, management and maintenance (a review)

This review aims to answer the question “what are the public perspectives of woodland creation, expansion, management and maintenance?” (where woodland is taken to refer to trees in any location and context). Using a combination of structured search strings and key word searches, the search process uncovered 81 relevant publications from 15 countries, published between 1996 and 2021 (inclusive). Given the policy ambitions for tree planting and woodland expansion across Great Britain, from the United Kingdom (UK), Welsh and Scottish Governments, the findings from this review are timely. The findings provide valuable evidence of possible public reactions to new planting, afforestation and changes to management, and identify gaps in the evidence where further work is required.

Values, management and pest and disease threats associated with ash: A review

This report reviews and summarises some of the key evidence from around the world on values associated with ash trees, and the management decisions about both ash dieback and emerald ash borer. The evidence on values focuses on historical, social and cultural values while the parts on management decisions looks at actual decisions taken as […]

Observatree: Key lessons. Qualitative study of the ‘Observatree’ citizen science project

Study evaluating the experiences of participants of Observatree, a Tree Health Early Warning System which engages volunteers in surveying for tree pests and diseases, thereby supporting efforts to protect woodlands and forests.

Other Research

The public, visits to the countryside, and biosecurity (2023)

This publication presents a summary of findings from a questionnaire completed in 2023 with 2000 people living in England. Funded by Defra, and working in close collaboration with colleagues in Forestry England, the aim was to find out what members of the public understand about biosecurity in the countryside.

Download “The public, visits to the countryside, and biosecurity – Questionnaire Results” [PDF, 928kb]

Engagement with nature before and during the Covid-19 restrictions (2020-2021)

Role in project: Designing questionnaire and interview questions. Carrying out telephone interviews to investigate in depth how peoples’ experiences during the initial months of the Covid restrictions changed their connection to trees, woods and forests.

Understanding landowner risk perception and behaviours for future management of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) (2017-2018)

Role in project: Carrying out interviews with landowners in the south east of England to investigate their experiences of OPM, attitudes towards OPM, and the risks associated with the pest.

Resilient Treescapes (2018-2020)

Role in project: Co-facilitating stakeholder workshops to investigate land manager knowledge of and experiences with tree pests and diseases, and preferences for support to better manage trees under threat from pests and diseases.

Programme 7: Integrating Research for Policy and Practice (2017-2020)

Role in project: Interviews with external users of Forest Research (FR) research to investigate the impacts of FR research from the perspective of external stakeholders.

PREPSYS (2018-2019)

Role in project: Stakeholder mapping and analysis and stakeholder engagement to investigate preparedness across Europe for Emerald Ash Borer and Bronze Birch borer.

Action Oak (2018-2019)

Role in project: One of the lead authors of chapter 8 of the Action Oak Knowledge Review. Chapter 8 addresses “Land managers and publics: Knowledge, attitudes and actions associated with threats to oak trees”.

Biosecurity engagement with hikers at Rowardennan, Scotland (2018-2019)

Role in project: Carrying out face to face questionnaires with hikers on the West Highland Way and the Ben Lomond Hill Path to investigate issues around biosecurity information, communication and facilities for recreationists.

Observatree (2017)

Role in project: Analysis and write up of data from evaluation interviews with professionals and volunteers involved in Observatree.

i-Tree (2017-2018)

Role in project: Conducting evaluation interviews with stakeholders involved in i-Tree eco surveys. Analysis and write up of data from evaluation interviews with stakeholders.

Bedgebury Pinetum – Visitor study (2017-2018)

Role in project: Fieldwork with visitors to Bedgebury. Analysis and write up of data from forest walks and focus groups with visitors to Bedgebury.

Mission Invertebrate evaluation (2017-2018)

Role in project: Interviews with learning deliverers, teachers, and Royal Park staff to evaluate Mission Invertebrate project, and learn lessons. Analyse and write up data from interviews and other observation data from public events and citizen science activities.

SIMWOOD evaluation (2017-2018)

Role in project: Activities to contribute to evaluation of four year SIMWOOD project.

Peer reviewed journal articles

Ambrose-Oji, B.; Goodenough, A.; Urquhart, J.; Hall,C.; Karlsdóttir, B. 2022. ‘We’re Farmers Not Foresters’: Farmers’ Decision-Making and Behaviours towards Managing Trees for Pests and Diseases. Forests, 13, 1030.

Hall, C., Marzano, M. & O’Brien, L. (2020) Understanding how best to engage recreationists in biosecurity to reduce the impacts of tree diseases a review. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences 4 (5), 531-538.

Marzano, M., Hall, C., Dandy, N., LeBlanc Fisher, C., Diss-Torrance, A. & Haight, R., 2020. Lessons from the Frontline: Exploring How Stakeholders May Respond to Emerald Ash Borer Management in Europe. Forests, 11 (6), 617

Marzano, M., Ambrose-Oji, B., Hall, C. & Moseley, D., 2020. Pests in the City: Managing public health risks and social values in response to Oak Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) in the United Kingdom. Forests, 11(2), 199

David C. Rose, William J. Sutherland, Andrew P. Barnes, Fiona Borthwick, Charles Ffoulkes, Clare Hall, Jon M. Moorby, Phillipa Nicholas-Davies, Susan Twining, Lynn V. Dicks, 2019. Integrated farm management for sustainable agriculture: Lessons for knowledge exchange and policy. Land Use Policy. 81, 834-842

Beausang, C., Hall, C. & Toma, L., 2017. Food waste and losses in primary production: Qualitative insights from horticulture. Resources, Conservation & Recycling 126, 177–185

Fletcher, R., Hall, C., Baulcomb, C., Lewis, A. & Hussain, S., 2014. Revealing Marine Cultural Ecosystem Services in the Black Sea. Marine Policy. Volume 50, Part A, December 2014, Pages 151–161

Hall, C. & Allan, F., 2014. Influencing Carbon Behaviours: What Psychological and Demographic Factors Contribute to Individual Differences in Home Energy Use Reduction and Transportation Mode Decisions? Energy and Environment Research; 4 (1), p1-14

Barnes, A., Toma, L., Willock, J. & Hall, C., 2013. Comparing a ‘budge’ to a ‘nudge’: Farmer responses to voluntary and compulsory compliance in a water quality management regime. Journal of Rural Studies. 32, 448–459

Hall, C., Knight, B., Ringrose, S. & Knox, O. 2013. What have been the farm-level economic impacts of the global cultivation of GM crops? CEE Review 11–002. Environmental Evidence.

Hall, C. & Wreford, A., 2012. Adaptation to climate change: The attitudes of stakeholders in the livestock industry. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 17 (2), 207-222.

McRoberts, N., Hall, C., Madden, L. & Hughes, G., 2011. Perceptions of disease risk: from social construction of subjective judgements to rational decision-making. Phytopathology 101(6), 654-665

Barnes, A.P., Willock, J., Toma, L. & Hall, C., 2011. Utilising a farmer typology to understand farmer behaviour towards water quality management: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Scotland. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 54(4), 477 – 494

Project reports

Hall, C., & Ballinger, R., 2016. Policy and governance of salt marshes: (How) does policy support the supply of ecosystem services? Report produced for the RESILCOAST project

Barnes, A.P., McVittie, A., Ferreira, J, Hall, C. (2014). An economic evaluation framework for Crop and Horticultural R&D projects (RPM 5134). Final Report to Defra, London

Hall, C., 2014. Poultry farmers’ views of disease, disease control and campylobacter in chicken flocks. Report produced for Defra for the project: ‘Assessment of the efficacy of on-farm biosecurity measures for controlling Campylobacter’. This report relates to Objective 9: To investigate the attitudes, motivations and barriers to implementing the interventions. SRUC

Hall, C., 2014. Exploratory investigation of woodland managers’ biosecurity behaviours. Final report produced for Fera. SRUC

Hall, C., 2014. Developing understanding of social impact of tree pests and diseases. Final report produced for Fera. SRUC

Hall, C., Philips, S., Atterton, J., McCracken, D. & Carter, N., 2013. Farmer views on nature conservation and farming in Northumberland National Park. Report to the Northumberland National Park Authority

Hall, C., 2013. Tree and plant health and biosecurity: Scoping the social science research and identifying gaps. Final report to Defra for the Social Science Research Fellowship in Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity: November 2012 to March 2013

Hall, C., 2013. Growers’ views on approaches to Sclerotinia control. Chapter 10 in: Young, C., Clarkson, J., West, J., Ahmadi, B. & Burnett, F., 2013. Reducing the impact of sclerotinia disease on arable rotations, vegetable crops and land use. Final project report under the Sustainable Arable LINK programme.

Allan, F. & Hall, C., 2012. Low carbon Scotland: Residents’ ‘carbon’ behaviours. Rural Policy Centre Research Report, SAC, Edinburgh.

Hall, C. & Woolvin, M., 2012. What are the implications for rural Scotland of a low carbon future? In: Skerratt, S. et al. Rural Scotland in Focus 2012. Edinburgh: Rural Policy Centre, Scottish Agricultural College.

Policy Publications

Hall, C. & Burnett, F., 2014. Will farmers consider collective action to tackle crop diseases? SRUC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing. January 2014 (RPC RB 2014/01)

Hall, C., Burnett, F., Higgins, V., Bryant, M., Hernández-Jover, M., Duckett, D., Fisher, R., Maye, D., Enticott, G., Ilbery, G. & Kirwan, J., 2014. The role of institutions and farmers in tackling on-farm disease risks. SRUC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing. January 2014 (RPC PB 2014/05)

Sutherland, E. Hall, C., 2013. Achieving a Low Carbon Future in Rural Scotland: The Development of Passivhaus. SRUC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing. December 2013 (RPC RB 2013/13)

Hall, C., 2013. The role of social science in policy making for tree and plant health and biosecurity. SRUC Rural Policy Centre Policy Briefing. October 2013 (RPC PB 2013/09)

Hall, C. Allan, F., 2011. Low carbon Scotland: What influences residents’ energy use behaviours? SAC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing RPC RB 2011/11.

Scientific conferences: presentations or posters

Hall, C. & O’Brien, L., 2018. Visitor experiences and impressions of Bedgebury Pinetum: Maximising wellbeing. Presentation at: International People Plant Symposium, Malmö, 11-13th October 2018

Vuillermoz, M., Edwards, D., Ambrose-Oji, B., Hall, C., Kerr, G., & Pecurul, M., 2017. Added value from 22 Pilot Projects and perspective from evaluation with engaged stakeholders. Presentation at: SIMWOOD Final Conference, Paris, 12-13 October 2017

Hall, C., 2014. (Bridging the gap between?) social science and policy making in tree and plant health and biosecurity. Presentation at RGS with IBG Annual international conference. Geographies of co-production. 26-29 August 2014. London.

Hall, C., 2014. Sequestration and substitution: how do stakeholders in the woodland sector view their role in climate change mitigation? Presentation at International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 27-28 June 2014, University of Iceland, Reykjavík

Hall, C. Burnett, F., 2013. Stakeholder co-operation for biosecurity. XXV ESRS Congress, Florence, Italy, 29th July – 1st August 2013. Working group 23: Biosecurity and Rural Governance

Hall, C., Liebe, U. Glenk, K., 2012. Consumer attitudes towards the use of Scottish-grown barley in Scotch malt whisky. WCRS Lisbon, 4th August 2012

Hall, C., 2011. Agricultural policy issues: Using Q methodology to investigate attitudes. 27th Annual Q Conference 7-9 September 2011. Birmingham, UK