james h c fenton
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
Following this he worked as an ecology tutor for five years at Brathay
in 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
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 Conservation in
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 four another four years in
2019. He is also editor of the Scottish Wild Land Group’s newsletter
Wild Land News.
He is now retired and concentrating on writing, focussing on his main
interest: the conservation of the landscape of the Scottish Highlands.
Dr James Fenton, Seil Island, Scotland