About me

Since 1997 I have worked as a freelance consultant on:

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

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

I believe that interpretation is a creative act that engages visitors with a place, an object, or an event. My work reflects this, and has often involved artists, poets and sculptors. You’ll find examples of what I do on the Projects, Training, and Plans pages. Contact me if you’d like more details. 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, 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”. I was pleased and very honoured, but I’m not sure I’ve quite finished yet!


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.
Logo for a Full Member of the Association for Heritage Interpretation