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Colin Hindmarch

2024 - Today
President of the Kew Guild 2004-2005
Dr Colin Hindmarch PhD (Southampton), Dip. Hort. (Kew), Dip. L.D. (Newcastle), FRSB, C. Biol., FCIHort., CHort, F.L.S.

Dr Colin Hindmarch is the 2025 recipient of the George Brown Memorial Award in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of horticultural and botanical science through effective communication and diplomacy.

The citation reads: “Colin has helped to shape interdisciplinary discourse, secure public engagement, and drive practical action on a range of international environmental issues. His effectiveness in navigating this complex and politically fraught arena has depended on the quality of his interactions with local, national, and international decision-making processes. These have helped him devise and defend sustainable environmental initiatives at a range of spatial scales across diverse environments and intensities of development. They have also positioned him to contribute to seminal reports and publications on pressing ecological issues. These outputs addressed a range of environmental and socioeconomic impacts across Europe and its overseas entities and informed early debates on the critical and urgent need to integrate ecological concerns into the heart of economic planning.

The Significance of the George Brown Award

Dr Colin Hindmarch: Education and Experience.

Colin has a background in botanical horticulture, landscape ecology, environmental design, strategic planning, with aspirational interests in grassland community ecology and molecular phylogeny. He was educated at the Durham Institute of Agriculture (1961-1964), the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1965-1968), Newcastle University (1968-1970), and Southampton University (1987-1993) and maintains a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) profile.

Professional Roles

The scope of Colin’s professional activities and related impact indicators is summarised below under generalised headings with numbered links [1] to a detailed reference section.

Drafting and Defence of Policy: Informing environmental policy development at local [7, 8, 10, 11], regional [12, 14, 55], national [40, 41, 53, 66, 78, ] and European level [38, 39, 42]; participating in working groups on behalf of British and European Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) [49, 50, 51, 68); responding to consultations from government (UK) committees and other organizations; and providing independent expert evidence in defence of policy and practice to a variety of audiences, including quasi-judicial hearings [19-36], UK select committees [41, 81, 82, 84, 85] and informal public engagement meetings [56, 57, 58, 61, 59, 60, 61].

Investigating Ecological Capacity and Environmental Resilience: Design evaluation and impact assessment of strategic [12, 14] and local [8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 34, 36] initiatives; identifying and mapping pasture woodland habitat using GIS techniques [46]; using plant phenology as a basis for making habitat management decisions [6]; evaluating the concept of wildlife corridors for birds [4]; and assessing the impact of mineral extraction and waste disposal on river valley and coastal landscapes [7, 27] and investigating the population genetics of tropical cloud-forest Bromeliads [3].

Managing Environmental Change: Planning [10, 11, 13], designing and implementing rural and urban development schemes [13, 14, 15, 16]; facilitating the reclamation [16], and management [9] of landscapes and habitats, including those of fragile, tropical, and sub-tropical Island ecosystems [1, 2, 39, 49]. These initiatives have entailed working with multi-agency initiatives [9, 12,13,14], fostering public participation exercises and community programmes [10], as well as coordinating the work of non-government organizations [9,10], contractors [15,16], direct labour and professional staff.

Contributing to the body of literature: as a basis for the evaluation and reform of high-level policy instruments [38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 50] conservation strategies [38, 44], landscape planning and management issues [43, 40, 42, 50, 51, 53], and crucially, as a means of contributing to the debate on ways of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between economic growth and ecological resilience [40, 45].

Fostering Educational Development: by designing and delivering graduate and post-graduate training modules [ecology and landscape] [17]; contributing to degree validation processes [76]; evaluating international research submissions [65]; contributing to reports and published papers [37-55] and exploring current issues as an invited speaker at academic and research institutions [56-61].

Colin’s effectiveness in these diverse and complex endeavours has been underpinned by networking activities, matured through field-level implementation programmes, and validated by objective impact indicators involving leadership and advisory roles, published documents, policy citations and the recognition of chartered professional organisations.
Networking Activities

Success in these and other of his professional activities has depended on his ability to promote sustainable solutions to demanding issues through advocacy, negotiation and the design and implementation of practical solutions to demanding problems. Pivotal to these efforts has been his ability to network with diverse local, national, and international stakeholders. This provided opportunities to chair European [69] national [66] and regional [79] organisations and represent non-government organisations on various national and European projects and policy processes [1, 2, 4, 49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 72].

Implementation Programmes

Colin’s approach to policy development, networking, and the dissemination of ideas has been shaped by hands-on involvement in European research programs and studies [1, 2, 67, 68] and within the British planning system at landscape [5, 6, 8] and local levels [7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 54], where he addressed rural [10, 11], urban [13], and peri-urban issues [14, 33, 34, 36 ] and defended his judgements in the adversarial arena of more than fifty UK public inquiries [19-36]. These challenges strengthened Colin’s understanding of ongoing socioeconomic, political, and environmental issues that influence ecosystem stability, food security, epidemiological risk, community cohesion, and human well-being.

Impact Indicators

The impact of Colin’s work is indicated by the way local, national, and international institutions have used his aptitudes and skills to support their activities. This has involved board membership [67, 68, 72, 73, 75, 78], leadership appointments [66, 69, 77, 79], educational and advisory roles [71, 76, 67], the evaluation of international research submissions [65], and the presentation of expert evidence at quasi-judicial public inquiries [19-36]. 

His efforts in these areas have enabled him to inform policy development at different levels of the legislative hierarchy [37, 38, 39, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85]  as well as provide impactful opportunities to support environmental stewardship at a grass-roots level. A notable example of this would be his approach to the design and implementation of an extensive, multi-element landscape infrastructure for a large-scale housing development in Southern England [13, 54], where one of its components attracted a Civic Trust Commendation [15, 80].

At a fundamental level, however, Colin regards his most significant societal impact will derive from his contribution to several paradigm-challenging publications that addressed the economic and policy determinants of sustainable development [40, 45]. 

These wide-ranging impacts have attracted high-level peer recognition from chartered professional organisations [62, 63], earned Colin the privilege of serving as President of the Kew Guild [70], and secured the  George Brown Memorial Award in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of horticultural and botanical science through communication and diplomacy [64].

Colin and his wife Valerie live in their native County Durham (UK), support worthy causes, and delight in the progress of their four surviving children and fourteen grandchildren.


Reference Section

Reference links are shown in numbered in squared brackets and grouped under the following subheadings: (a) major projects; (b) expert evidence in chief; (c) published work; contributions to studies and unpublished reports (d); public presentation (e); appointments and professional honours (f); and policy-related citations (g).
(a) Major Projects.

[1] Net-Biome: European Union Sixth Framework Programme: Networking tropical and sub-tropical biodiversity research in the outermost regions and territories of Europe in support of sustainable development (2007-1010). 

[2] Net-Biome CSA: A project to strengthen European research cooperation for smart and sustainable management of tropical and subtropical biodiversity in outermost regions and overseas countries and territories.

[3] Evaluating the population genetics of tropical cloud forest Bromeliads: a six-week field trip to collect and process samples of Catopsis hanii  to examine population phylogeny on-site using SSR markers. 

[4] Corridors for birds within the Pan-European Ecological Network. Report submitted (September 2000) to the Council of Europe Expert Committee, Rochefort (Belgium) (Hindmarch and Kirby, 2002) [50].

[5] Hampshire Pasture Woodland Management Study: A landscape approach to the mapping of pasture woodland habitats [46]. This used GIS techniques to assess potential surfaces for the habitat as a basis for restoration.

[6] Hampshire road-verge management project using plant phenology to inform the management of highway verges (1996).

[7] Hampshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan Inquiry (1995): an extended quasi-judicial inquiry to examine in public under cross-examination of the plan proposals.  

[8] Review of Hampshire Heritage Areas (1995); A draft paper exercise to characterise Hampshire’s putative Heritage Areas

[9 M3 Monitoring Group: setting up and chairing M3 Environmental Monitoring Group. Multi-agency participation exercise, securing: a 25-year management plan for St Catherine’s Hill and Twyford Down (Winchester), the restoration, translocation, and creation of important grassland habitats, and the adoption of a ten-year programme of management and biological monitoring (1991-1993). My role as chairman is recorded in: Ecology and Twyford Down (1997): Published by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environmental Research Council; ISBN 1 870393 40 6.

[10] Ampfield Heritage Area Project (1993-1995).  Heritage management programme involving District and Parish Councils, and representatives of Civil society.  The project was an exploratory programme to investigate the potential of involving grass-roots organisations and authorities as stakeholders in the conservation and management of a rich and varied landscape.

[11 East Hampshire Hangers Project (1987-1990): a project to establish the need for a coherent approach to the management of an important landscape element and for setting up a supporting project managed by East Hampshire District Council.

[12] North East Hampshire Structure Plan (1989); a strategic, multidisciplinary project involving multiple agencies and public consultation.  The plan formed the context of local plans and development control decision-making.

[13] Chineham Development Plan (1987): involving the evaluation, planning, design, and implementation of an advanced landscape infrastructure for a major development project in Hampshire (UK).

[14] Blackwater Valley Joint Landscape Study (Hampshire, Surrey, and Berkshire): a four-year study to evaluate the landscape needs of a river valley with waste disposal, mineral extraction, and urban fringe issues (1974-1982). 

[15] Lychpit Local Centre (1986): design and implementation of a local centre which formed part of Chineham’s wider landscape infrastructure [13].  

[16] Hollybush Lane Reclamation Project (1980) design, remedial reshaping, and landscaping of an anomalous riverplain waste tip within the Blackwater Valley study area [14].

[17] Teaching, examining, and developing the ecology and landscape modules of a post-graduate Town and Country Planning course at Southampton Institute (now Solent University).

[18] Lecturing at Birmingham University (Biodiversity and Conservation Management School of Geography), Earth and Environmental Sciences (2014-2018)

(b) Presenting and defending expert evidence at Inquiry under cross-examination (section 321 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).

[19] Wokingham and District Plan Inquiry. New Village at Grazely, Berkshire. Defended, 1998.

[20] Old Netley, Hound (Pickwell Farm) (HMWLP). HCC objection No. 552.001 to rep no. 552. Defended, 1995.

[21] Bramshill Plateau, Hartley Wintney. (HMWLP). HCC objection No. 860.002 to rep no. 860. Defended, 1995.

[22] Gardeners Lane, Ridge, Romsey (HMWLP). HCC response to rep. No. 761.002. Defended, 1995.

[23] HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent (HMWLP). HCC objection (No. 860.002) to rep no. 860. Defended, 1995.

[24] Busta Triangle, Eversley (HMWLP). HCC objection (No. 834.023) to rep no. 834. Defended, 1995.

[25] Ashley Manor Farm, New Milton (HMWLP). HCC response to submitted evidence. Defended, 1995.

[26] Hazelton Farm, Horndean (HMWLP). HCC objection (No. 561.002) to rep no. 561. Defended, 1995.

[27] Policy 8 (ix) and (x) (HMWLP). Response on behalf of HCC to evidence submitted by BIFFA Waste Services LTD (rep 823) and Wimpey Disposal LTD (rep No. 826) in Chapter 4. Defended, 1995.

[28] Policy 8 (ix) and (x) (HMWLP). Response on behalf of HCC to evidence submitted by Redland Aggregates (rep No. 657) and ARC LTD (No. 834) in Chapter 4. Defended, 1995.

[29] Policy 8 (ix) and (x) (HMWLP: Response on behalf of HCC to evidence submitted by BACMI (rep No. 657) and ARC LTD (No. 882) on Chapter 4,). Defended, 1995.

[30] Funtley Landfill, Titchfield Lane, Funtley, Hampshire. Defended, 1994.

[31] Bere Hill and Bailiffs Bottom, Andover (defended 1989).

[32] Peak Copse, Dummer, Hampshire (defended, 1989).

[33] The Grange, Bursledon (EBC 26605/2) Strategic Gap. Defended 1987.

[34] Wildern, Hedge End. Strategic Gap. (EBC 26605/2). Defended 1987.

[35] Land at Hollybush Lane, Aldershot (defended 1987).

[36] Lapstone Farm. Countryside gap between Fair Oak and Horton Heath (defended, 1987).

(c) Published work.

[37] Hindmarch, C. & Hall, SJC (2012): The Chillingham wild cattle of Northumberland: an evolutionary puzzle and a challenge for pastoralism. La Cañada – Number 29 Winter 2012, ISSN 1027-2070.

[38] Hindmarch, C & Angeli, D. (2011): Reforming Common Agriculture Policy. Biologist, Vol58 No 3, p 19 – 21. Published by the RSB Task Force on Agricultural Reform in response to the EU budgetary framework consultation for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

[39] Hindmarch, C. (2007): Biodiversity on the far-flung outposts of Europe. Biologist, Vol. 54 Number 2, May 2007.

[40] Hindmarch, C., Harris, J., Morris, J (2006): Growth and sustainability: integrating ecosystem services into economics.  Biologist, Vol. 53 Number 3, June 2006, p135-142.

[41] Hindmarch C. (2004 (a): Written evidence (V06) submitted (16th Sept 2004) to the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Response to: (a) support for agriculture; (b) ensure a strategic overview supported by a competent scientific infrastructure and effective delivery.

[42] Hindmarch C. & McCracken, D.I. (2004): The impact of accession on high nature value (HNV) cattle systems in Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC): a summary of some points arising from the seminar held on 3 March 2004. La Cañada: the newsletter of the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism, Issue 18 (Summer 2004): p, 15-17, ISSN 1027-2070.

[43] Hindmarch, C. & Kirby, J. (2002): Corridors for birds within a Pan-European Ecological Network. Nature and Environment series No. 123. ISBN 92-871-4907-6, Council of Europe Publishing.

[44] Dierking, U., Drews, D., Hindmarch, C., Roos, T., Wiebe, C. (2000): Ancient pastoral systems as models for large-scale habitat restoration. La Cañada, 12, (Summer 2000): p, 11-13, ISSN 1027-2070.

[45] Hindmarch, C. & Peinkowski, M. (2000): Land management: The hidden costs. British Ecological Society ISBN 0632056525 Blackwell Science, Oxford.

[46] Hindmarch, C. (1997a): A landscape approach to the identification and mapping of pasture woodland in Hampshire (UK). 305-308. In A. Cooper & J. Power (eds.) Species Dispersal and Land Use Processes University of Ulster. Coleraine. ISBN 0-9524263-3-1. IALE (UK).

[47] Hindmarch, C (1997b): European Community Biodiversity strategy. La Cañada, 8, (December): p, 9, ISSN 1027-2070.

[48] Hindmarch, C (1997c): A Foundation for the future: an impression of the 6th Forum, Luhacovice 6-10 June 1998. La Cañada, 9, (Summer 1998): p,1, ISSN 1027-2070.

(d) Contributions to studies and unpublished reports.

[49] Bang, S., Ruecker, G., Hindmarch, C., Raharivelomanana, P., Tamanikaiyaroi, V. Yansom Gowae, G., Goulding, G. (2012): Strengthening Pacific-European Collaboration in Research Development and Innovation. Climate Change, Agriculture and Forestry in the Pacific (Policy Brief Working Draft Ver. 2012-09-18c). PACE-Net Key Stakeholder Conference, Brussels, 20-23 March 2012.

[50] Recommendations by the NGO Consortium represented by the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) on the development and elaboration of the European Union Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture. Prepared by Dr Colin Hindmarch for the EU Biodiversity Policy Review (Working Group 2 BAP-AGRI 16th December 2003). Referenced in annex 2, page 6.

[51] Reference to involvement in the process [50]: Biodiversity and the EU Sustaining Life, Sustaining Livelihoods, Conference Report, page 221.

[52] CEAS and EFNCP (2000): Main trends and environmental issues in EU dairy systems, 5.0, p59-79 (contributing commentator) in The Environmental Impact of Dairy Production in the EU: Practical Options for the Improvement of the Environmental Impact. Final report for European Commission (DGXI) Submitted by CEAS Consultants (Wye) Ltd Centre for European Agricultural Studies, and The European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism.

[53] Hampshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan Topic paper 2A, Chapter 4, General Considerations (Policy 7-9; Paragraphs 4.1-4.18) River Valleys and Coastal Plain Landscapes. Submitted to the Secretary of State as part of the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan Inquiry (1995).

[54] Chineham Development Plan and associated Development Briefs (1983): contributions to multi-disciplinary working groups and design evaluation committees as part of the five-year development plan process and the associated releases of land for development.

[55] Blackwater Valley Joint Landscape Study (1976): final report of the three-county study into the character of the valley and its landscape and environmental needs.

(e) Public presentations.
Note: this list excludes numerous talks, discussions and panel meetings with local conservation, amenity, and public action groups.

[56] Hindmarch, C. (2010). Protected Areas: Developing Sustainable Policy Options. pp 182-185 in Making the Right Connections: a conference on conservation in UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and other small island communities. Grand Cayman 30th May to 5th June 2009 (ed. by M. Pienkowski, O. Cheesman, C. Quick & A. Pienkowski).

[57] Institute of Horticulture Education, Training and Careers Standing Committee (Feb 21, 2007). Re-integrating the land-based professions: a strategic overview. 

[58] Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Weybridge (UK) (February 2002): Research Seminar: ‘Pushing the Limits: Some Ecological Consequences’

[59] European Commission Advisory Committee (Agriculture and the Environment) (February 2000): Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture. Presentation on behalf of European Non-Government Organisations (conservation), Center de Conference A. Borschette, 36, Rue Froissart, Brussels

[60] British Association for the Advancement of Science, Leeds University (1997): The Hidden Costs of Land-use Management (seminar).

[61] University of Ulster, Coleraine (1997): The sixth annual conference of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (UK): Species Dispersal and Land-use Processes.

(f) Key appointments and evidence of professional recognition.

[62] Fellowship of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) is the most prestigious grade of membership for members who have achieved distinction in biological research, teaching or the application of biology.   

[63] Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. The designation (FCIHort recognises horticulturists who have achieved a high standard of distinction.    

[64] George Brown Memorial Award (2025): this honour recognises significant contributions to the advancement of horticultural and botanical science through effective communication and diplomacy.

[65] Member of Biodiversa+ Evaluation Committee (2019-2023): Biodivera+ is a European partnership supporting research on biodiversity with an impact on society and policy.

[66] Chair, Institute of Biology (IOB)(UK) Environment Committee (2005-2008): the IOB (now the Royal Society of Biology) held the Royal Charter for the biological professions, and its Environment Committee addressed related public policy issues and published commentary on European Overseas Entities, ecosystem services, population growth.

[67] Advisory board Net-Biome-CSA (2016): the project aimed to extend and strengthen research partnerships and cooperation for smart and sustainable management of tropical and subtropical biodiversity in European outermost regions (ORs) and overseas countries and territories (OCTs).        

[68] Stakeholder Appointment (2013): PACE-NET, a three-year INCO-NET Coordination Action, supported by the European Commission (DG RTD-INCO), PACE-Net is a network which will establish a bi-regional dialogue on science and technology (S&T) research for development between the Pacific region and Europe.

[69] Chair, European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP). The Forum aims to establish a viable economic future for High Nature Value (HNV) farming across Europe by influencing research priorities, policy development and practical action.            

[70] President, The Kew Guild (founded 1893) (2004-2005).                             

[71] External lecturer Birmingham University: speaking about issues relating to Biodiversity and Conservation Management at the School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (2014-2018).   

[72] Board Member, UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (2006-2011).      

[73] Chair, Twyford Down M3, monitoring group (1991-1993).                        

[74] Vice President, The Kew Guild (founded 1893) (1992-1994).                   

[75] British Ecological Society: serving member of the Public Affairs Committee (several terms of office).

[76] Validation panel member: degree in Marine and Ecological Studies, Southampton Institute.

[77] Chair, ‘Aspects of Freshwater Biology’ session, British Association Science Festival, Southampton (1992).   

[78] Council Member, Institute of Biology (UK) (1989-1992): the Council had general oversight of the policy and management of the Institute.               

[79] Chair, Wessex Branch Institute of Biology (1987-1994): the branch committee encouraged professional development, explored engagement, and explored regional issues that may inform IOB policy development

[80] Civic Trust (UK); Commendation, Lychpit Local Centre, Basingstoke, Hampshire (1986). Note: the citation registers the County Chief Officer as the designer and anonymises officer involvement.

(g) Policy-related citations

[81] Hindmarch (2007) cited in: ‘Halting biodiversity loss’, House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Thirteenth Report (2008

[82] Hindmarch, et al (2006) [40] cited in Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology ‘Ecosystem Services’ (2007).

[83] Hindmarch C. & McCracken, D.I. (2004) cited in Impact of Environmental Agreements on the CAP Document: MEACAP (2005).

[84] Hindmarch (2003) (unpublished report) cited in Environment Assessment of Implementation of Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and Development Cooperation, Global Framework Contract - LOC No. 2003/77061, Final Report April 2004.

[85] Hindmarch (2007) [38] cited in House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee: Overseas Territories; Seventh Report of Sessions 2007-08, volume II; Oral and written Evidence; June 2008.