Joanna grew up in Woking in Surrey, always loved the outdoors, forests, wildlife – climbing trees, helping her Dad tinker in the shed, mow the lawn and make bonfires. She also loved chopping up wood for the fire and one year her father bought her an axe for Christmas before she had ever heard of the Lumberjills.

She studied Psychology at Hull University and has an Msc. in Occupational and Organisational Psychology from Surrey University. She now works in communications and public relations for environmental organisations and lives in the Guildford area.

Joanna first discovered the Lumberjills while working for the Forestry Commission in 2012 and was based at Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham. With a wild, adventurous spirit and passion for forests, she felt a connection with their story. Like most people, she had previously never heard of the women who took on tough ‘men’s work’ foresting and logging during WW2. Since then she has interviewed and corresponded with over 60 women who served as Lumberjills.

She has given dozens of interviews on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines and more than 50 public talks to increase recognition of their wartime work. For further information about Joanna Foat and her books visit