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Professor Nigel Walford

Professor of Applied GIS


I studied Geography as an undergraduate in the interdisciplinary context of the University of Sussex in the 1970s and then gained my PhD from the University of London (Wye College) in 1981 where I worked on agricultural restructuring and rural change. Before joining Kingston University in 1989 I worked in the ESRC Data Archive at the University of Essex, where I was involved with a number of data dissemination and analysis projects, including acting as the national Census Officer. it was here that I developed my interest in Geographical Information Systems and Science and its application.

My research reflects a longstanding focus on quantitative analysis of geospatial data in relation to geodemographics, population ageing, spatial planning, agriculture and environmental monitoring. The organisations funding my research include the ESRC, Scottish Executive, Nuffield Foundation and In 2012 was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the British Academy.


Areas of specialism

  • Agri-environmental change
  • Geodemographics
  • Geospatial analysis
  • London's contemporary and historical demography
  • Modelling and visualisation of cultural heritage
  • Modelling rural and urban landscape change
  • Population ageing
  • Population censuses and 'Big Data'
  • South Downs landscape


  • 1974-77: BA (Hons) in Geography, University of Sussex
  • 1977-81: PhD in Wye College, University of London
  • 2003: Chartered Geographer, Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers)

Professional membership

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers); Chair of the Rural Geography Research Group; Treasurer of the Population Geography Research Group

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Association for Geographic Information


Three threads have continued throughout my research career surviving evolution and change in the specific projects in which I have been actively engaged. These threads relate to differentiation between rural and urban environments, population dynamics and migration and interaction between human and physical processes. Current projects concern

  • connecting the micro-scale demography of areas of London and Middlesex over a period of 100 years (1901-11 and 2001-11) for which I was awarded a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship
  • investigating and modelling the impact of war-time emergency measures on the agriculture and landscape of the South Downs
  • extending work on older people's adjustment to urban regeneration and renewal

I regularly present my research at international conferences and have well in excess of 120 research outputs (journal articles, chapters, books and international conference papers).

Research student supervision


Number of items: 11.


Taylor, Katherine J, Nigel, Walford and Short, Brian (2010) Assessing the land use of inter-war Britain: A comparison of the First Land Utilisation Survey field sheets and 1:63,360 scale maps. Applied Geography, 30(1), pp. 50-62. ISSN (print) 0143-6228

Walford, Nigel S. and Hayles, Kelly N. (2010) An analysis of the changing dependency ratios for small areas in 1981, 1991 and 2001: a Norfolk case study. Journal of Maps, pp. 370-381. ISSN (print) 1744-5647

Walford, Nigel (2007) Geographical and geodemographic connections between different types of small area as the origins and destinations of migrants to Mid-Wales. Journal of Rural Studies, 23(3), pp. 318-331. ISSN (print) 0743-0167

Walford, Nigel (2005) Agricultural restructuring during the closing decades of the twentieth century: evidence of farm size in South East England. Geography, 90(3), pp. 238-249. ISSN (print) 0016-7487

Walford, Nigel (2005) Connecting historical and contemporary small-area geography in Britain: the creation of digital boundary data for 1971 and 1981 census units. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 19(7), pp. 749-767. ISSN (print) 1365-8816

Burton, Rob J.F. and Walford, Nigel (2005) Multiple succession and land division on family farms in the South East of England: a counterbalance to agricultural concentration? Journal of Rural Studies, 21(3), pp. 335-347. ISSN (print) 0743-0167

Walford, Nigel (2004) Searching for a residential resting place: population in-migration and circulation in Mid-Wales. Population, Space and Place, 10(4), pp. 311-329. ISSN (print) 1544-8444

Walford, Nigel (2003) A past and a future for diversification on farms? Some evidence from large-scale, commercial farms in South East England. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 85(1), pp. 51-62. ISSN (print) 0435-3684

Walford, Nigel (2001) Patterns of development in tourist accommodation enterprises on farms in England and Wales. Applied Geography, 21(4), pp. 331-345. ISSN (print) 0143-6228

Book Section

Walford, Nigel (2007) The National Farm Survey (1941-43) and the tracing of post-war farmers movements on the South Downs. In: Short, Brian , Watkins, Charles and Martin, John, (eds.) The front line of freedom: British farmingthe the second world war. Exeter : The British Agricultural History Society. pp. 217-229. (The Agricultural History Review Supplement Series, no. 4) ISBN 090326904X

Walford, Nigel S (2003) Diversification on large-scale, commercial farms in South East England. In: Diry, Jean-Paul, (ed.) Innovations in rural Areas: 4e colloque franco-britannique de Geographie rurale. Clermond-Ferrand, France : Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (Rural Geography Research Group) and Comite National de Geogrphie (Commission de Geographie Rurale). pp. 195-208. (CERAMAC, no. 22) ISSN (print) 1242-7780 ISBN 284516243X

This list was generated on Tue Jul 17 04:29:13 2018 BST.

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