Sylva Foundation is at the heart of a community that encourages the use of home-grown wood by supporting and demonstrating skills, enterprise, collaboration and innovation.



myForest is a flagship project for the Sylva Foundation. Our mission is to use our forestry knowledge and information technology skills, supported by state-of-art evidence, to provide innovative solutions to some of the greatest environmental challenges facing modern society.

Free to all users, myForest is bringing the latest technology to the forestry sector. Whether a small woodland owner, or land agent companies, myForest provides comprehensive online mapping, digital tools and the latest resources not only to sustainably manage forests, but to provide unique support for the creation of new forests around Britain.

woodland advice
Woodland habitat around the stream

In Britain there is an estimated 700,000ha of under-managed woodlands. This has a big impact on our ability to create resilient woodlands, thriving habitats and healthy spaces for people, whilst overcoming threats from climate change, and a growing number of pests and pathogens. 

As one of Europe’s least forested countries, the UK needs to fulfil its potential in providing a meaningful contribution towards the country’s timber needs.

myForest has made both management planning and the coordination of our clients and work so much simpler. All the information and resources are in one place, the process is intuitive and straightforward. When we submitted the first management plan using myForest our local woodland officer said it was one of the best plans he had received.

Tim Selman, Managing Director, Wyre Community Land Trust

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NatureBid is an online funding platform offering the latest mapping and auction tools to reduce administration costs for investors in the environment.

NatureBid works collaboratively with funders and engagement partners to ensure a funding platform that best supports everyone’s needs. 

NatureBid is flexible and can support different approaches including reverse auctions, single shot auctions, collaborative working across landscapes, or used simply as a powerful engagement tool to allow landowners to propose projects on their land.

Funding is needed to support interventions to help with the biodiversity and climate emergencies. NatureBid has already provided a solution to allow funders to deliver environmental improvements across the country in an innovative and cost effective way.  

Sylva Foundation added the Woodland Carbon Guarantee to the NatureBid platform in 2019, and have worked successfully with the Forestry Commission since then to deliver four auctions, with more planned. The NatureBid platform is really user-friendly, supported by clear guidance including a video guide, making it easy for applicants to register and take part in the auction.
Sylva Foundation has been great to work with, they are solution focused and always deliver high quality outputs on time and within budget.

Samantha Neck, Forestry Commission

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The Sylva Wood School

Sylva Wood School

Sylva Wood School is bridging the gap between education and practice, and promoting the value of home-grown timber

Sylva Wood School provides an innovative new approach to design and skilled craft in home-grown timber through collaborations with educational institutions, non-profit organisations and commercial partners. 

See the impact of the Wood School

By providing inspiring experiences for students, and innovative opportunities for collaborating partners, the Wood School is highlighting the importance of using home-grown timber and the value of reviving Britain’s wood culture.

Based in the Sylva Wood Centre in South Oxfordshire, the Wood School provides access to a multi-purpose teaching barn and a large workshop with industrial-quality machinery. This allows students, not only to experience working with wood in a stimulating learning environment, but to achieve a professional standard of practice.

Wood School Short Courses:

By providing a programme of accessible short courses covering a wide range of topics and skills, the Wood School is creating inspiring and accessible opportunities to experience working with home-grown timber.

Wood School Courses

Summer School

Summer School

The Summer School is for those who have an interest in wood as a material, and see forests and woodlands as a place for learning and growing.

Professional Course

Professional Course

The vision for our Professional course is to sensitively combine education and business to create a sheltered workshop experience. Participants will learn in a professionally-equipped workshop by producing commercial projects. Learning will focus on repetition through low volume production rather than working on bespoke projects.

Introductory Courses

Introductory Courses

The vision for this programme is to introduce participants to a range of furniture making skills and experiences in a professional workshop. Essential health and safety training is delivered in hand tools, power tools and woodworking machinery. Training will be delivered in small groups by demonstration with the opportunity to practice skills through project work.

Short Courses

Short Courses

We provide a growing range of short courses suitable for all ages and skill levels: Maker sessions enable course participants to learn new skills and take away a beautiful object; Woodwork sessions are designed to hone your skills and techniques; Courses for young people have been developed to inspire and create a great experience.

The space and the equipment here – you can’t compare it to anywhere else, it’s just excellent. The fact the course is centred around machining skills, which sets it apart from others. Although you do hand tools work, the machining skills is what people in industry want, and is a bit more realistic. Also Joe is an excellent teacher, just the way he teaches really shows his experience…

Fergus Hooper – Sylva Wood School Fellow 2022

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The Sylva Wood Centre

The Sylva Wood Centre is a 12 hectare site in South Oxfordshire, and is firmly rooted in the local community. We have a community of Wood Centre businesses, the Sylva Wood School, the Future Forest, including a Forest School site, and the House of Wessex.

The Sylva Wood Centre provides the base for advocacy and collaboration

Business Incubation

We provide facilities to support business incubation, including start-up units, shared workspaces, and hot-benching facilities.

Business Hub

Our hub is for small businesses and craftspeople who design, innovate or make in wood. Businesses range from furniture making and outdoor structures, to boat-building and upholstery. There is also a small-scale timber yard on the site.

Teaching Barn

Our well-equipped teaching venue is providing the opportunities to deliver excellence in education and business enterprise.

Find a business at Sylva Wood Centre

The Sylva Wood Centre is an innovative place helping to make big change happen

Circular Economy on Site

Practical Expertise Leading to Innovative Solutions

Turning our Theories into Practice

Other Initiatives at the Sylva Wood Centre

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