About me

Since 1997 I have worked as a freelance consultant on:

  • interpretation projects
  • interpretation plans, strategies and policies
  • training, facilitation and mentoring.

I like heritage interpretation that takes an imaginative approach to its subject, and is sensitive to the environment in which it is placed.

Although I’m now largely retired from interpretation work, you can always contact me if you’d like more details or if you have a particularly tempting idea!

I see interpretation as a creative act that engages visitors with places, objects, and events. My work reflects this, and has often involved artists, poets and sculptors. You’ll find examples on the Projects, Training, and Plans pages. I’ve written many articles and papers about interpretation: you’ll find a selection in Good stuff.

I am a Fellow of the Association for Heritage Interpretation, the United Kingdom’s professional body for this fascinating and varied activity. In 2015, I was delighted and honoured that the Association gave me its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award recognises “an outstanding and lasting contribution to the heritage interpretation profession over a significant period of time”.


Past lives

Before I found my vocation in interpretation, I’d worked as a development and adventure training tutor, countryside ranger, historic house guide, tourist information officer, farm labourer, and radio journalist. In between the tourist information and farm jobs I made a solo journey overland to India via the Middle East. I studied English Literature at university, and spent quite a few of my student days putting on plays with the drama society. I think I draw on all these experiences in what I do now.

If you’d like to know more, download my curriculum vitæ (that’s a resumé if you’re reading this in the United States).

A photograph of James Carter with the Forth rail bridge in the background.
AHI Fellow