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Ian Craig

Home Staff Ian Craig

Sample Plot Manager

Ian is responsible for managing the Forest Research network of permanent mensuration sample plots, which is one of the longest-running forest growth monitoring networks in the world. He is responsible for planning and organising the design and management of the sample plot network, including the periodic re-measurement of the permanent sample plots. Ian also manages the Forest Research Sample Plot Database, which holds records on forest growth and yield collected in 1946 sample plots since 1911 up to the present day.

Ian made a major contribution to the development of a new Strategy for the Permanent Sample Plot Programme, which was adopted in 2016.

Ian also plans and manages programmes of short-term collection of growth and yield data, to address emerging issues and questions in the UK forest sector about the growth performance and potential yield of particular types of forest.

Ian is an important point of contact and advisor in Forest Research for forestry practitioners, researchers, students and members of the public raising queries relating to forest, tree and timber measurement, and the practice of forest mensuration. Ian also fulfils a role in quality assurance of forest monitoring surveys undertaken by Forest Research.

Ian studied at Newton Rigg Forestry College and gained a Forestry OND in 1977. He joined the Forestry Commission as a forester, based for a short time in South Downs Forest District, before moving to the New Forest the following year. He joined Surveys Branch in 1986 and then Mensuration Branch at Forest Research in 1996. Ian has 40 years of experience in forestry practice and is one of the main experts in FR on implementing silvicultural systems such as thinning. He is a leading specialist in the practical application of forest survey and mensuration techniques.


  • Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters
Sample Plot Manager
Mensuration, growth and yield

Other Research

Permanent Sample Plot Network

Project leader

Develop MOSES-GB model

Data acquisition

Peer reviewed journal articles

Contract and project reports

Craig, I.R., Mackie, E.D., Arcangeli, C. and Matthews, R.W. (2017) Growth and yield of young improved Sitka spruce stands. Report for FC Scotland. Forest Research: Farnham.

Mackie, E.D., Craig, I.R., Arcangeli, C. and Matthews, R.W. (2015) Strategic review of mensuration sample plot data acquisition. Report produced for Research Strategy Management Board as part of FC Science and Innovattion Strategy Programme 6. Forest Research: Farnham.

Matthews, R., Craig, I., Mackie, E. and Randle T (2011) Estimating the woodfuel potential of Woolhope Dome. Final Report to Forestry Commission England and Natural England. Forest Research, Farnham.

Other meetings

Tuition in forest mensuration and survey techniques at two-day international Graduate Summer School on GHG flux measurement and upscaling, organised as part of the NERC GREENHOUSE project, August 2016, at Straits site, AH; “hands-on” measurement of forest carbon and GHG balance measurements and analysis for c. 24 post-graduates and early career scientists.