Ashley Hardaker


Room Details

School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography (SENRGy) F5, Thoday Building


BSc (Hons) Rural Land Management: Royal Agricultural University
MSc Environmental Forestry: Bangor University

PhD Title (or subject area)

Beyond single purpose land use – rebalancing ecosystem service delivery in the Welsh uplands.


Dr Tim Pagella (BU), Dr Mark Rayment (BU) and Gareth Davies (Coed Cymru)

Describe your research

This project is aiming to take an objective and scientifically rigorous approach to answering a relatively straightforward research question – is there an optimal balance between specialised sheep production and low-quality timber production that maximises the total basket of ecosystem services provided by the Welsh uplands.
The project also aims to address to interlinked corollary questions;

  1. are land use subsidies essential to maintain non-monetised ecosystem service provision, and if so, how should these be directed; and
  2. what is the scale of integration at which total service provision is maximised – the farm, the catchment, the region or the country?

Research Interests

Upland forestry and agricultural systems – in particular the economic drivers of land use and business profitability.
Integration of forestry into upland agricultural systems.
Economic resilience of upland forestry and agricultural systems.


Hardaker, A. (2018). Is forestry really more profitable than upland farming? A historic and present day farm level economic comparison of upland sheep farming and forestry in the UK. Land Use Policy, 71, pp.98-120.

Professional Affiliations

The project is funded by KESS II funding. The project is a partnership between Bangor University and Coed Cymru.


I graduated from the Royal Agricultural University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Rural Land Management. Straight out of university I joined a small firm of agricultural valuers and surveyors in the Yorkshire Dales where I was involved in the provision of advice to farmers and landowners regarding BPS and agri-environment schemes, valuation of rural property assets and compulsory purchase compensation work. In late 2015 I decided I wanted to change my career trajectory and moved to Bangor to undertake and master’s degree in Environmental Forestry. Now following a year out coaching hockey in a private school and working in an outdoor education centre I am back in Bangor to pursue this Kess II PhD project under the supervision of Dr Tim Pagella, Dr Mark Rayment and Gareth Davies of Coed Cymru.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.