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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    – Llais y Goedwig, Machynlleth, Wales

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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First tree planted in the Future Forest

posted on December 9, 2016
Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree, a Wild Pear, in the Future Forest

This week Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight visited Sylva Foundation to discuss the various collaborative projects running with Sylva Foundation. After discussions with CEO Gabriel Hemery concluded the pair planted the first tree in the Sylva Future Forest; a wild pear! We’re very grateful to various funders for supporting the creation of this new woodland at the Sylva Wood Centre, among them the Woodland Trust.

The main area of the Future Forest will be planted with our Forest Friends in the New Year. It will contain some 40 species, including locally-sourced native trees, native trees with ‘exotic genetics’ (i.e. matched to projected climate), and exotic species from around the world. Read more about the Future Forest.

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest


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Hot-bench spaces available at the Sylva Wood Centre

posted on December 8, 2016
Hot bench user at the Sylva Wood Centre

Hot bench user at the Sylva Wood Centre

As part of the continuing development at the Sylva Wood Centre we have opened a new facility to allow wood-based craftpersons to rent bench space by the week.

Called Start-Up, this flexible ‘hot-benching’ system is aimed at people of all ages who would like to try their hand at setting up a wood business without the burden of taking on a long-term lease.

Hot-benchers have access to a shared machinery workshop which means they don’t have to spend large amounts of capital to get started. Machinery includes a state-of-art Martin panel saw, plus planer, thicknesser, and bandsaw.

 

Sylva Machinery Workshop

Machinery Workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre

Users will join a vibrant and friendly community of wood craftspeople and benefit from companionship, informal advice, inspiration over shared cake and coffee, and opportunities to take part in our growing programme of public exhibitions.

There are currently five benches available to rent by the week.  If you want to find out more and to discuss terms and booking, please email paul@sylva.org.uk or call 01865 408018.


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Rural Development Programme in England open for new applications

posted on December 7, 2016

Elements of the Rural Development Programme in England are beginning to re-open to new applications. These are LEADER and the Countryside Productivity Scheme (CPS).

Having been under the same level of uncertainty as other EU-funded rural development schemes, the message from the UK government is that these funding pots will reopen and stay up to the point the UK leaves the EU.

LEADER groups across England have Local Development Strategies which set out the priorities for allocating LEADER funding, whereas CPS is a national scheme. Both schemes, in most cases, have forestry and timber-related activity identified as an area for investment. You’ll need to check to see if you fall within a LEADER area and ensure you project is eligible however, expert help is at hand.

Forestry Advisory Consortium for England

Forestry Advisory Consortium

The Forest Advisory Consortium (FACE), of which Sylva Foundation is a member, is a partnership of organisations providing expertise in accessing funding programmes.  FACE has been supporting forestry and other rural businesses to successfully access LEADER, CPS and other government funding for a number of years. Examples of projects include mobile sawmilling, seasoning and storage of sawn products, woodfuel production and storage, specialist harvesting, and extraction machinery.

If you have a forestry or rural business and an investment in mind but are not sure if it might be eligible for Rural Development support, get in touch with your local FACE partner to see how they can help. The contact details of all the regional partners can be found at the FACE website. You can also e-mail info@forestryace.eu or tweet to @forestryace.


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Amazing response to our Christmas appeal

posted on December 2, 2016

We’ve been stunned by the generosity of so many individuals who have donated to our Christmas appeal over the last four days.

myForest development Christmas appeal

myForest development Christmas appeal

As I write (8am today) we’ve been donated £2,150 which, thanks to the Big Give and support from the Dulverton Trust, will be matched; meaning we’ve raised £4,300 in total. This sum will make a very significant contribution towards our development of Sylva’s myForest. Currently 60,000 hectares of private woodland across the UK is mapped and managed with the help of the myForest service. Thanks to these donations it means our aim to support the management of 228,000ha (10% of UK privately-owned woodland area) by 2021 is more attainable.

It’s not too late if you wish to donate to our Christmas appeal. The deadline is just hours away – 12 noon today. To donate visit our appeal page on the Big Give.

Our sincere thanks to all those who have donated.

Gabriel Hemery, Chief Executive


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myForest Development Christmas Appeal

posted on November 29, 2016

Help us help Britain’s woodland by supporting our myForest development project. Thanks to the support of the Dulverton Trust, any donation made via the Big Give between 29th November – 2nd December will be doubled! You can read more about the Appeal on the Big Give website or go straight to the donate page.

myForest development Christmas appeal with the Big Give

myForest development Christmas appeal with the Big Give

Healthy woodland improves the environment. It cleans our air, supports wildlife, creates fertile soil, helps relieve flooding and provides space for learning, employment and relaxation.

The myForest planning tool was developed as a free, online resource for woodland owners, managers and agents to help and encourage them to map and plan to manage their woodland sustainably. myForest is used currently by more than 4,700 owners nationwide to map and manage almost 60,000ha of woodlands across Britain. Next year we want to develop new tools to make myForest even more effective and encourage more owners to use it.

Thank you for your support.

 


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