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Gary Kerr

BSc, PhD, FICFor, CEnv

Home Staff Gary Kerr

Gary’s work focusses on establishing the scientific basis and knowledge transfer required for the increased use of continuous cover silviculture in the United Kingdom. However, a genuine interest and passion for silviculture means that he is also involved in other projects including: seed origins of emerging species, management of native broadleaved woodland, upland silviculture as well as responsibilities for co-ordination of the Science Group.

Gary graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1985 with a BSc (Hons) in Forestry. Later in 1985 he was employed by the Forestry Commission and worked as a forest manager in the Forest of Dean. In 1988 Gary moved to Forest Research at Alice Holt to become Head of Mensuration Branch. In 1990 he changed roles to become a silviculturist. In 2002 Gary was awarded his PhD from the University of Wales: his Thesis was ‘ Factors affecting the growth and form of Fraxinus excelsior L.’. Since 2003 Gary has been Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: An international journal of forest research. In 2010 he became the Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 1.05.00 on Uneven-aged silviculture. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia between 2012 and 2015. At present, Gary is a member of the Executive Board and Workpackage Leader of the EU FP7 project SIMWOOD (Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood).


  • Visiting Professor, Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Fellow of Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: an international journal of forest research
  • Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 1.05.00 on Uneven-aged silviculture
  • President’s Award from the Institute of Chartered Foresters for meritorious service in 2009
  • Chartered Environmentalist
  • 1993 James Cup for best article in Quarterly Journal of Forestry
  • 1996 Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to Northeast USA
  • James Cup runner-up in 1997, 2000 and 2009
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Gary Kerr

BSc, PhD, FICFor, CEnv
Science Group Leader
Silviculture and wood properties

Forest Research

Alice Holt Lodge


Surrey GU10 4LH


Related Research


Continuous cover silviculture - Regeneration of continuous cover forests

Understanding the factors involved in regeneration for continuous cover forestry

Status current
Managing stands using continuous cover forestry

How to manage stands to achieve continuous cover forestry

Continuous cover silviculture

The use of natural regeneration to create a varied forest structure containing a range of species

Related Publications


Establishing robust species mixtures

New guidance from Forest Research to help design mixtures at the establishment phase



No seed zone effects on the survival, growth, and stem form of Pacific silver fir in Britain

Long-term research finds Pacific silver fir has great potential as a forestry species in Britain With our climate changing and an increasing range of pests and diseases affecting trees in Britain, it is important forest managers diversify the tree species they plant and use a wider range of forest management systems (e.g. continuous cover forestry). […]

Comparing the Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry for Sitka Spruce in Great Britain

Paper examines the economics of transforming a stand of Sitka spruce to Continuous Cover Forestry Recently continuous cover forestry (CCF) has become an accepted approach to forest management in Britain, but uncertainty about its economic consequences may be a barrier to its wider use. A study was carried out to examine the costs and revenues […]

Costs and revenues of transformation to continuous cover forestry

Study modelling silvicultural options with Sitka spruce showing how transformation to continuous cover forestry can be a good economic option compared with clearfelling and replanting. This is accompanied by an Analysis spreadsheet (MS Excel®-3813K) that enables practitioners and policy makers to change input costs, product specifications, roadside prices and the discount rate to suit their […]

Thinning practice - a silvicultural guide

The underlying silvicultural principles which make up good thinning practice and guidance on applying thinning in the most common situations of forest management. By Gary Kerr and Jens Haufe. Related pages Continuous cover silviculture Integrated establishment systems for the uplands Management of upland native woodlands Woodland and habitat management publications

The evidence supporting the use of continuous cover forestry in adapting Scotland’s forests to the risks of climate change

Report to Forestry Commission Scotland summarising the role of Continuous Cover Forestry in future climate conditions. By Victoria Stokes and Gary Kerr. Related pages Continuous cover silviculture Integrated establishment systems for the uplands Management of upland native woodlands Woodland and habitat management publications

[Archive] Woodland creation: experience from the national forest

A practical guide explaining how to create new woodlands in the National Forest. Advice is based on general principles of tree establishment techniques, latest research findings and, importantly, the experience of establishing three large Demonstration Woodlands in the National Forest. A site visit to at least one of them will bring to life the points […]

[Archive] The use of treeshelters: 1992 survey

The correct use of treeshelters is important to ensure successful and rapid early establishment of young trees. Almost 200 sites were surveyed with the object of comparing actual usage of treeshelters with the recommendations (see FC Handbook 7). Effective weed control is essential with use of treeshelters. Height of treeshelters must take into account the […]

[Archive] Growing broadleaves for timber

Growing broadleaves for timber describes the silvicultural principles and practices involved in growing quality broadleaved timber in Britain. The aim of this Handbook is to update and expand one aspect of Forestry Commission Bulletin 62 Silviculture of broadleaved woodland, to focus attention on one single objective: growing high quality hardwood. This objective usually integrates well […]

Other Research

Peer reviewed journal articles

Peer reviewed journal articles

Kerr, G., Snellgrove, M., Hale, S. and Stokes, V. (2017) The Bradford-Hutt system for transforming young even-aged stands to continuous cover management. Forestry, (doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpx009)

Harmer, R., Kerr, G., Stokes, V. and Connolly, T. (2017) The influence of thinning intensity and bramble control on ground flora development in a mixed broadleaved woodland. Forestry, (doi:10.1093/forestry/cpw048)

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A., Fletcher, A., Samuel, S., Mackintosh, H. and Mason, W.L. (2016) No seed zone effects on the survival, growth, and stem form of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) in BritainCanadian Journal of Forest Research, 46:427-436

Kerr, G., Webber, J., Mason, W., Jinks, R. and Jennings, T. (2015) Building resilience in to planted forests: recent experience from Great Britain. Paper presented to the XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, South Africa, 7-11 September 2015.

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2015) Comparing the Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry for Sitka Spruce in Great Britain. Forests 2015, 6, 2424-2449

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Jinks, R. (2015) Effects of provenance on the survival, growth and stem form of European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in Britain. European Journal of Forest Research, 134(2):349-363

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2015) International guidance on initial stocking densities for conifers: is there any evidence to alter practice in Britain? Scottish Forestry: 69(1):8-17.

Kerr, G. (2014) The first field experiment in the world to use a randomised experimental design: history, results and interpretation. Forest Science, 60(6):1194-1204 doi:10.5849/forsci/13-166

Mitchell, R.J., Beaton, J.K., Bellamy, P.E., Broome, A. , Chetcuti J., Eaton, S., Ellis, C.J., Gimona A., Harmer, R., Hester, A.J., Hewison, R.L., Hodgetts, N.G., Iason, G.R., Kerr, G., Littlewood N.A., Newey, S., Potts, J.M., Pozsgai, G., Ray, D., Sim, D.A., Stockan, J.A., Taylor, A.F.S., Woodward, S. (2014) Ash dieback in the UK: A review of the ecological and conservation implications and potential management options. Biological Conservation,175:95–109.

Kerr, G. (2014) The management of silver fir forests: de Liocourt (1898) revisited. Forestry; 87(1):29-38.

Brang, P., Spathelf, P. , Bo Larsen, J. , Bauhus, J., Boncina, A., Chauvin, C., Drössler, L., García-Güemes, C., Heiri, C., Kerr, G., Lexer, M.J., Mason, B., Mohren, F., Mühlethaler, U., Nocentini, S. and Svoboda. M. (2014) Suitability of close-to-nature silviculture for adapting temperate European forests to climate change. Forestry, doi:10.1093/forestry/cpu018

Mackintosh, H., Kerr, G. and Connolly, T. (2013) Structural change during transformation in the Glentress Trial – an update. Scottish Forestry, 67(3):14-23

Stokes, V. and Kerr, G. (2013). Long-term growth and yield effects of respacing natural regeneration of Sitka spruce in Britain. European Journal of Forest Research, 132 (2), 351-362. (DOI) 10.1007/s10342-012-0679-5.

Kerr, G. and Stewart, G. (2013) The native forests of New Zealand: time to review timber production and sustainable management. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 107(2):138-143.

Harmer, R. and Kerr, G. (2013) Using canopy cover to control vegetation in continuous cover forestry. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 107(2):113-121.

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Wylder, B. (2012) Natural regeneration of conifers: a method to help forest managers predict the likelihood of success. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 106(1):23-30.

Kerr, G. and Mackintosh, H. (2012). Long-Term Survival of Saplings during the Transformation to Continuous Cover. Forests, 3: 787-798. {**This paper won the Scottish Forestry Trust Dr. Cyril Hart Memorial Award for 2012**}

Diaci, J, Kerr, G. and O’Hara, K (2011). Twenty-first century forestry: integrating ecologically based, uneven-aged silviculture with increased demands on forests. Forestry, 84(5):463-465.

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Wylder, B. (2011). Prediction of conifer natural regeneration in a ‘data-poor’ environment. Scottish Forestry, 65(3):28-36.

Kerr, G. and Evans, J. (2011). Eucalypts for Short Rotation Forestry: a case study from the 1980s. Quarterly Journal of Forestry. 105(2): 109-117.

Kerr, G, Morgan, G., Blyth, J. and Stokes, V. (2010). Transformation from even-aged plantations to an irregular forest: the world’s longest running trial area at Glentress, Scotland. Forestry, 83: 329-344.

Comeau, P.G., White, M., Kerr, G. and Hale, S.E. (2010). Maximum density-size relationships for Sitka spruce and coastal Douglas-fir in Britain and Canada. Forestry, 83:461-468.

Forestry Commission/Forest Research publications

Stokes, V., Forster, J. and Kerr, G. (2017) A comparison of Sitka x white spruce hybrids with QCI Sitka spruce. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Kerr, G. and Haufe, J. (2016) Successful underplanting. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LH.

Kerr, G., Forster, J. and Jinks, R. (2016) Summary of FR Seed Origin Trials on Low’s Fir [Abies concolor var. lowiana (Gord.) Lemm.]. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Jinks, R. and Kerr, G. (2016) Summary of FR Seed Origin Trials on Cryptomeria japonica and Sequoia sempervirens. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2011). Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry (PDF-568K). Report to the Forestry Commission by Forest Research. Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Kerr, G. and Haufe, J. (2011). Thinning Practice: A Silvicultural Guide. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Kerr, G. (2011). A review of the growth, yield and biomass distribution of species planted in the English network trials of short rotation forestry. In, Forest Research Monograph 2 (McKay, H.M. ed.) Short rotation forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts(PDF-3255K). Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey. 212pp.

Harmer, R., Kerr, G. and Thompson, R. (2010). Managing Native Broadleaved Woodland. Forestry Commission Handbook The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Knowledge exchange

Guldin, J. and Kerr, G. 2014 Future Concepts in Uneven-Aged Silviculture for a Changing World. IUFRO News, volume 43, issue 9/2014

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2011). CCF is ‘economically viable option’. Forestry and Timber News, August 2011, p19.