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Helping shape the future of forestry

posted on February 17, 2017

This week we held our second of four workshops across Britain with stakeholders, helping set the main themes for the next British Woodlands Survey to launch in the summer.

BWS2017 Grantham workshop

BWS2017 Grantham workshop

BWS2017

Through a series of four stakeholder workshops we aim to shape the main ‘Themes’ of a survey which will be launched in June 2017. Each workshop builds on the outcomes of the last in an iterative process (see diagram below). The concept of identifying Themes is to ensure that the eventual survey questions focus on the most important issues of our time, as it is impractical to ask questions about every aspect of interest to all stakeholders. The Themes have arisen from previous research and workshops. Along with the GB-wide main Themes, we will allow Themes to emerge at each workshop which relate to country or regional issues.

This second workshop (the first being held in Oxford) was kindly hosted by the Woodland Trust. We welcomed several private woodland owners, plus representatives from Woodland Trust, National Forest and Tilhill. Colleagues from the Social & Economic Research Group at Forest Research are attending each workshop to assess the effectiveness of the approach adopted and to ensure academic rigour.

Next week we will holding our third workshop, this time at the Forestry Hub in Machynlleth, kindly hosted by Llais y Goedwig.

BWS2017 workshops - an iterative process

BWS2017 workshops – an iterative process


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Grown in Britain sponsors a grove in the Future Forest

posted on

Grown in Britain (GIB) have generously supported the Sylva Future Forest by sponsoring a cluster of plots now known as the Grown in Britain grove.

GIB planting team

GIB planting team. Left to right John Weir (Forestry Commission England), Laura Sceal (GIB), Judith Millidge (Small Woodland Owners’ Group), Helen Bentley-Fox (GIB), Dougal Driver (GIB). Tom Barnes (Vastern Timber), Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation), William Jackson (Certainly Wood), and Jen Hurst (Sylva Foundation). Behind the camera, Matt Larsen Daw (Woodland Trust).

Last Friday a team assembled by GIB got to work planting a wide selection of trees from our pallet of 40 species. In between the tree planting they enjoyed hot drinks, soup, tea cakes and marshmallows on the open fire, naturally burning GIB firewood (kindly provided by Certainly Wood). In fact they enjoyed planting so much that Tom Barnes (MD of Vastern Timber) generously sponsored an additional two plots (50 trees), which were planted after lunch.

Matt Larsen Daw, project lead for the Charter for Trees Woods and People helped ‘Show the Love’ for trees (see photo above). The Future Forest has been part-sponsored by the Woodland Trust and it is fitting that its creation is taking place during the year of the Tree Charter.


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Businesses back the Future Forest

posted on February 9, 2017
Forest Holidays planting team Feb2017

Forest Holidays planting team Feb2017

This week we’ve welcomed more business Forest Friends to plant their trees and learn more about the work of Sylva Foundation. We’re looking forward to meeting several more over the coming weeks. If you are looking for an usual team building event for staff and a lasting legacy in sponsoring a plot of 25 trees in the name of your business, we have a few opportunities left. If you’re interested we recommend you don’t delay, but read more about our Earth, Wind & Fire event.

Our thanks to Forest Holidays and Woodworking Masterclasses for their fantastic support (and tree planting efforts!).

A business sponsor helps plant another tree. Photo Rokesmith.

A business sponsor helps plant another tree. Photo Rokesmith.

 

Woodworking Masterclass Planting Team, February 2017

Woodworking Masterclasses Planting Team, February 2017


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Forest Friends get stuck in

posted on January 30, 2017

This weekend we welcomed more than 30 of our new Forest Friends to help plant their sponsored plots. Over 900 trees were planted with some 40 different tree species.

Despite some light rain on the Sunday and muddy conditions, spirits remained undeterred. The wonderful Education shelter designed by Julian Angus helped considerably, as did toasted marshmallows and hot drinks served round the fire. It was heartening to hear the stories from our new Friends; whether celebrating a new life or remembering a loved one, or sharing in the simple passion of planting trees for the good of us all.

Nine hundred down but 6,400 trees still to plant! Over the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming more planting help, including hundreds of local primary school children, and some of our business sponsors. If you’re an individual interested in sponsoring one of the few remaining plots for your family or loved one, or interested in business sponsorship, then don’t delay! The final public planting weekend is scheduled for 25th and 26th February.

We hope you enjoy a few of the many photos capturing the creation of the Future Forest. If you’ve already planted your trees then do share any of your photos in our Facebook album.

Read more about the Forest Friends scheme


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Hundreds of young people to help plant the Future Forest

posted on January 20, 2017
Sylva's Tree Team Educators Jen Hurst and Pieternel Overweel teach the Sylva Plant a Tree! song to Robins Reception class at St Francis Church of England Primary School.

Sylva’s Tree Team Educators Jen Hurst and Pieternel Overweel teach the Sylva Plant a Tree! song to Robins Reception class at St Francis Church of England Primary School.

We have welcomed in the New Year in the best way possible: inviting hundreds of young people to plant trees in the Future Forest.

Sylva’s staff, Education Manager Jen Hurst and volunteer Pieternel Overweel, have been working closely with 20 primary school classes (500 children) thanks to funding from Tesco Bags of Help and the Ernest Cook Trust.

Sylva Tree Team

Sylva Tree Team

During January we have been visiting the schools to talk about trees, forestry and tree planting. All the children will be visiting the site of the Future Forest to plant their trees during February. These young students are excited to be joining the Sylva Tree Team.

 

School students planting the Future Forest

School students planting the Future Forest

In addition to preparing the primary schools we’ve been welcoming secondary school students and special needs groups, thanks to collaboration with Earth Trust who have long-established links with local schools.

The 600+ children helping us plant the new woodland will be a long way forward in a journey learning about and taking responsibility for the environment, after all:

“All human beings should plant one tree for every year that they live on Earth.”
Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet, The New Sylva (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014)

 

 


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Help shape the future of forestry

posted on January 18, 2017

We are holding a series of workshops around Britain to help shape the 2017 British Woodlands Survey 2017 (BWS2017). If you are a woodland owner, forest manager, forestry business owner, land agent or have other related interests, and you are interested in helping shape the future of forestry, please read on.

BWS2017 is led by researchers from Forest Research, Sylva Foundation, University of Oxford and Woodland Trust. Funding is provided by Scottish Forestry Trust, Forestry Commission Scotland, and Woodland Trust.

BWS2017 is led by researchers from Forest Research, Sylva Foundation, University of Oxford and Woodland Trust. Funding is provided by Scottish Forestry Trust, Forestry Commission Scotland, and Woodland Trust.

For BWS2017 we are adopting a novel approach whereby the researchers are inviting participants to suggest important themes the survey should address. We are calling this ‘360-degree’ research, meaning that participants suggest the themes, then can help by contributing ideas and helping interpret findings. Your participation is welcome in all or any of the phases, the next being Phase 2:

  1. [Phase 1 – Help shape the survey by suggesting priorities. September 2016. COMPLETED]
  2. Phase 2 – Attend a workshop to agree final themes & priorities. February/March 2017.
  3. Phase 3 – Contribute to the survey. June 2017.
  4. Phase 4 – Help review findings. September 2017.

Dates and Venues

February 1st       – Oxford Martin School, Oxford University, England

February 15th     – Woodland Trust HQ, Grantham, England

February 22nd    – Forestry Hub, Machynlleth, Wales (hosted by Llais y Goedwig)

March 2nd         – Centre for Carbon Innovation, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Each workshop will be lively and all participants will be fully involved in helping shape outcomes. Tea and coffee and a light lunch will be available. There will be no charge for attending.

We hope that we will be able to find places for those who want to attend, but as venues are not large, we will aim to get a good balance of participants across the sector; once that condition is fulfilled, we will assign places by random selection.

If you are interested in helping shape the future of British forestry by attending a workshop, please complete this form:

https://sylva.org.uk/freshlime /index.php/825324


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The Sylva Tree Team has landed

posted on January 13, 2017
Sylva Tree Team

The Sylva Tree Team

Hundreds of schoolchildren are poised to visit the Future Forest to help plant trees. Luckily they will be assisted by the Sylva Tree Team.

Name: Sylva Tree Team

Members:  Captain Chainsaw, Bark the Wonder Dog, Professor Nuts, and Sally the Psychic Squirrel

Base:  Tree Team Zone in the Sylva Future Forest

Mission:  caring for trees and forests

Powers:  silviculture

Gear:  super saws, tree gun, book of knowledge

Captain Chainsaw is strong and fearless. She helps trees grow better by pruning their branches. Sometimes she cuts trees down so their timber can be used to build houses or make furniture. Her work in the forest lets sunlight reach the trees, and helps make homes and food for wildlife. In the spring she likes to help Professor Nuts with planting more trees. She loves her steel-capped boots and super saws. Her favourite tree is the cedar.

Bark the Wonder Dog is always busy helping the Sylva Tree Team. His favourite job is digging holes to help Professor Nuts plant more trees. He often carries sticks in his mouth for Captain Chainsaw. When he thinks no one is looking, he sometimes chases Sally Squirrel!

Professor Nuts is a genius. He writes books to help everyone learn about trees and how to look after them. He knows everything about how trees grow, which trees to plant where, and how to protect them from pests and diseases. He invented a tree gun which can plant one thousand trees every hour. He sometimes forgets things, but Bark is always nearby to remind him. His favourite tree is the walnut and he really likes wearing wellington boots.

Sally the Psychic Squirrel is very sparky and lively but often invisible in the treetops. She has special powers and gives the Sylva Tree Team clues to help them see what might happen to forests in the future. This is important because trees take a long time to grow. Her archenemy is Grey Squirrel who threatens her home planet.

Sylva Tree Team poster - click to download

Sylva Tree Team poster – click to download

Resources

Download the Sylva Tree Team poster

Visit the Sylva Tree Team webpage

 

All images copyright © 2017 Mark Hawkins

Category: EDUCATION
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Earth, Wind & Fire business sponsorship offer

posted on January 10, 2017
Earth, Wind & Fire flier

Earth, Wind & Fire flier

Do you run a business? Get the new year off to a great start with a unique, outdoor team-building event that’s good for business and the environment.

Sylva has a unique offer that could help you and your team shake off the Christmas excesses and provide your business with an original opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the local community and to environmental sustainability.We’re planting a new woodland at the Sylva Wood Centre in Long Wittenham – just a few miles from Oxford, Wallingford and Didcot. The new Sylva Future Forest is a unique project – a ‘demonstration woodland’ that will help discover which tree species will thrive in the future.

Your business can be one of just 20 sponsors to have a woodland plot dedicated in its name. Each sponsoring company can bring a group of up to 25 people, complete with wellies and gloves, for a truly memorable outdoor team experience. They can choose which trees to plant (subject to availability) and help plant them.  This authentic Earth, Wind & Fire event will end with teacakes, marshmallows and hot drinks around an open fire. You can find more details on the flyer.

Your company will receive an exclusive dedication certificate and hand-carved ‘leaf key’ to your chosen plot. We’ll provide you with a team photograph to use in PR and social media as you wish. You’ll also have an open invitation for team members and their families to visit the Future Forest whenever they wish. How many other team building events offer such a lasting investment in your team, their families and your business?

Local business North Oxfordshire Property Services and national leisure company Forest Holidays are already on board. Before their event NOPS Director Robin Swailes said, “We’re really proud to be supporting the work going on at the Sylva Wood Centre – both the new Future Forest, the wood-based businesses and the Start-Up benches for young people just getting their career in design and woodworking off the ground. We’ve never had a team-building event outdoors, so we are looking forward to planting trees and sitting round an open fire and really getting close to nature!”

If your last team-building event involved death by Powerpoint, or creating the Eiffel Tower out of Lego, consider this refreshing alternative and help to create a living legacy for your team, their families and your business. To arrange business sponsorship, choose a plot and arrange your Earth, Wind & Fire event please contact tina@sylva.org.uk or call 01865 408018

Download the flier

Our thanks to North Oxfordshire Property Services for the great photos


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Season’s Greetings

posted on December 13, 2016
Sylva Christmas card 2016

An ash coppice coupe shivers in a frost hollow (Photo Gabriel Hemery)

Wishing all our supporters a very merry Christmas and a fruitful New Year

From all the Sylva team

Category: Announcements
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Course 25 Feb 2017: learn to make a green wood stool

posted on December 12, 2016

Buy your loved one a present with a difference this Christmas, or treat yourself. Book a one-day course to learn how to work with green wood using simple hand tools, and make a ‘basic’ three-legged stool.

Greenwood-workshop-header

Greenwood workshop 25th February 2017

 

Course date:   25th February, 9.30am – 4.00pm

  • Learn about different tree species and understand why different woods are suitable for different tasks, how growth effects its use, and look at wood suitable for cleaving.
  • Learn how to cleave wood.
  • Learn basic axe work to rough shape the stool legs.
  • Use a shaving horse, drawknives and spokeshaves to shape three stool legs.
  • Shape a simple stool seat using planes, inshaves, travishers and spokeshaves.
  • There will also be a pole lathe for participants to ‘have a go’ at turning as time allows.

 

Cost:                     £95 per person

Venue:                 Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor:                   Peter Wood, Founder of Greenwood Days www.greenwooddays.co.uk

 

Book your place:          https://sylva.charitycheckout.co.uk/greenwooddaysfeb2017


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