James Fenton was educated at Glenalmond College near Perth and then attended Durham University where he studied botany.His first job was with the British Antarctic Survey, carrying out ecological research in Antarctica, during which time he gained a doctorate from the University of London (with a thesis on Antarctic peat).Following this he worked as an ecology tutor for five years at Brathayin the English Lake District, and also led expeditions for the Brathay Exploration Group to Scotland and Spitsbergen.Thereafter he returned to Scotland as an ecological consultant, during which time he launched the monthly news digest SCENES. He has also worked as naturalist for Lindblad Expeditions and led ski expeditions to the Arctic for Arcturus Expeditions [then Erskine Expeditions].In 1986 he married Sue Wrenn, herself a seasoned arctic traveller, after they met on the Spitsbergen icecap. Sue recently retired as editor of SCENES: Scottish Environment News. They have a daughter Mairi.In 1991 he joined The National Trust for Scotland as the organisation’s first Ecologist, where he remained until joining Scottish Natural Heritage in 2005 to work on landscape policy. In April 2011 James left SNH and in July moved to the Falkland Islands to be Chief Executive Officer of Falklands Conservation.James completed his two-year contract with Falklands Conservationin July 2013 and returned to Scotland as a self-employed consultant. In September 2015 he joined the board of the National Trust for Scotland as an elected member, and was re-elected for another four years in 2019; he stood down in September 2023 after completing his two 4-year terms. He currently editor of the Scottish Wild Land Group’s newsletter Wild Land News.James is now retired and concentrating on writing, with a focus on his main interest: the conservation of the landscape of the Scottish Highlands.