James founded FRLA on principles of interpretation, ecology and landscape architecture. His approach to projects always incorporates an understanding of how the habitats function (for external projects), how people interact with the space and the potential for that space to convey a story or message.
James studied horticulture and botanical garden management at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he was awarded both the Sir Joseph Hooker and the Professor William T. Stearn prizes. While growing plants in the controlled environment of the botanic garden, James developed an interest in growing plants in more natural environments. He pursued this further during an MSc in habitat creation and management.
James’ doctoral thesis was on the sustainable creation and management of new botanic gardens and combined research into interpretation, business planning and landscape design.
Before starting his own practice, James worked as Senior Consultant for an interpretation and ecological consultancy, where he was responsible for the design and project management of international visitor centre master plans. He has worked on projects in the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, India, Laos and South Korea.
James continues to contribute to the academic world by writing articles, peer reviewing for journals and presenting at conferences. He is a guest lecturer on Leicester University’s MSc course in Museum Studies.