Head Forester [1985-]
Christopher is Hooke Park’s Forester and its longest serving ‘inmate’, arriving in the mid 1980s when the wood was owned by the Parnham Trust. After training in horticulture at Cannington College, Somerset and Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Kew’s satellite garden, he learnt his forestry from Hooke’s then Head Forester Andrew Poore, and periods at Newton Rigg Forestry School in Cumbria.
Over the intervening years Christopher has been involved with the transformation of the wood from an even-age structure to a mixed age woodland, of greater aesthetic and environmental value. He has witnessed the development of the campus from the very first building to the current wave of construction, for which he has sourced timber from the wood.
He sees himself as custodian of the wood, enabling students to use it as an educational resource, and has recently begun to introduce Design + Make students to the basic principles of forestry.
Away from Hooke Park Christopher runs training courses in forestry skills, advises on private woodland and countryside management, and spends what time he can assisting his cousin in the south of France with his market garden business. He speaks French fluently and is usually seen with his Patterdale terrier Treasure.