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Sarah Taylor appointed trustee

posted on September 18, 2018
Sarah Taylor, Sylva Foundation trustee

Sarah Taylor, Sylva Foundation trustee

We are really pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Taylor as a trustee of Sylva Foundation. Sarah brings a wealth of business and finance experience to the board, while possessing a deep passion for the British countryside.

Sarah was born in Baghdad and brought up in France. She was educated at the Lycée Molière, Paris; Wycombe Abbey; Marlborough College and Wadham College, Oxford, where she read biochemistry. In 1984 she married Bernard Taylor, CBE, DL; they have one son, Henry.

She spent 11 years working as a fund manager in the City of London, for Phillips and Drew, and UBS. After becoming involved in the centenary celebrations of Thame Community Hospital in 1997, she became Chairman of its League of Friends, a position she holds to this day.

Sarah is also a Visitor of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum (OBGA), Chairman of the Friends of OBGA, a Trustee of the Oxfordshire Victoria County History Trust, a Trustee of the Oxford Lieder Festival, and Vice Chairman of the Thames & Chilterns Branch of the Historic Houses Association. She was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 2016/17, during which she first got to know Sylva Foundation when she formally opened a Community Orchard at the Sylva Wood Centre.

In 2000, Bernard and Sarah acquired Rycote Park and spent five years restoring the house and park and establishing the farm’s herd of Aberdeen Angus and flock of Castlemilk Moorit sheep. Sarah‘s particular interests include gardening and music.

Read more about the Sylva Foundation trustee board

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Head of Wood School appointed

posted on September 12, 2018

Our recently-appointed Head of Wood School, Joseph Bray, introduces himself and his new role with Sylva Foundation.

Joe Bray 2018

Joe Bray, Head of Wood School

I began my career in the furniture industry in 2000, as a designer and craftsman with Richard Williams.  My role progressed from junior craftsman to production coordinator giving me an introduction to the diversity of the industry whilst working on bespoke projects for private clients. Prior to this I studied furniture design and craftsmanship at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University and I went back to complete a masters in furniture design, graduating with distinction in 2010.  

At an early stage I knew I wanted to teach and, benefiting from a very supportive employer, I undertook some teacher training and worked at Rycotewood providing one-to-one woodwork for autistic young adults.  This valuable experience ultimately led me to make the transition between industry and education, taking up a full-time role as a teacher across the full range of programmes at Rycotewood.

Joseph Bray teaching a student

Joseph Bray teaching a student

In 2010, I took responsibility for course leadership of the Foundation degree and BA Hons programmes. I successfully led the validation of the degrees with two university partners; Bucks New University in 2010 and Oxford Brookes University in 2015.  Students and graduates have been incredibly successful, winning national awards, bursaries, and residencies.

My particular interest is in developing industrial partnerships leading to live projects, study trips, work experience, internships, and sponsorship for students.  Recent collaborations include live projects with AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council) exploring the characteristics of red oak, designing public seating for the RAF museum – London, as part of the 100-year anniversary, and live briefs with furniture manufacturers Ercol and William Hands.

My current research interest is to understand better how to upskill furniture graduates making them more employable – considering how to bridge the gap between education and professional life.  I have been successful in an application for funding and was announced as a Churchill Fellow in 2018. I will travel initially to USA in autumn visiting the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship, North Bennett Street School, Rhode Island School of Design and Rochester Institute of Technology.  Further travel to prestigious European institutions will follow in spring 2019. A report will be published in 2019 sharing the knowledge gained and recommendations for improving the education system here in the UK.   

I am a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and have served on the council since 2008 – I am currently responsible for the production of their quarterly newsletter.  I am a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

I am passionate about making, and very excited to get stuck into my new role, with Sylva Foundation, which for the first year I will be taking up while also continuing part-time with Rycotewood. My main responsibility is the development of the new Sylva Wood School, and in time I will play a lead role in supporting the delivery of training and courses. I’ll also play a key part ensuring the development of the Sylva Wood Centre as a beacon for best practice.

www.sylva.org.uk/wood


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We’re hiring

posted on September 5, 2018

Web Software Developer (mid-level)

Join our dynamic and creative team, working in a stunning countryside location, providing cutting-edge software solutions to help protect and improve the natural environment.

As our Web Software Developer you will play an important role in the development of online tools that benefit the natural environment, for example by improving the conditions of woodlands and the planting of more trees across the country. You will develop and maintain databases and web applications that are central to our charitable activities, supporting positive environmental outcomes.

You will have a strong selection of skills and experience in the following essential requirements:

  • Knowledge / experience of the following web development languages: HTML/CSS/Sass, PHP, Node.js, MySQL / PostgreSQL / PostGIS, frontend Javascript, jQuery / Bootstrap
  • Knowledge and practical experience of source control and build tools. We use git and gulp.
  • A solid understanding of database design and data manipulation.

Location: South Oxfordshire

Position: Full-time or part-time. Flexible working hours, and some home-working, may be agreed.

Salary: £30-35,000 dependent on experience.

Full job specification available: https://sylva.org.uk/jobs

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Annual Review for 2017-18

posted on August 23, 2018
Sylva Foundation Annual review 2017-18

Sylva Foundation Annual review 2017-18

We are pleased to announce the publication of our Annual Review for 2017-18.

Our Annual Review is a short publication which summarises our full Trustees’ Report and Accounts, which is submitted each year to the Charity Commission for England & Wales, and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Both documents are available to download on our website.

You can read about some of our achievements during 2017-18, together with our plans for 2018-19. We are very grateful for the fantastic support received from our friends and volunteers, and of course our partners and donors during 2017-18, many of which are recognised at www.sylva.org.uk/partners.

Please contact us if you would like a paper copy of either document.

 

 

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Expressions of Interest sought for timber-framing of Anglo-Saxon reconstructed house

posted on June 18, 2018

Sylva Foundation seek expressions of interest from timber-framing and archaeological specialists for the design and faithful reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon house using traditional treewrighting tools and techniques, on the same footprint as an original historical artefact in south Oxfordshire, and to deliver workshops and onsite training.

The charity has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant to reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon timber-framed building in a new project known as the House of Wessex. A summary of the project can be found at: www.sylva.org.uk/wessex

Expressions will be accepted only via the following EOI online form:

https://goo.gl/forms/PFYI6lKxUYg08MlT2

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IS FRIDAY 29TH JUNE 2018


Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund


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Expressions of Interest sought for thatching of Anglo-Saxon reconstructed house

posted on June 12, 2018

Sylva Foundation seeks expressions of interest from thatchers for the thatching of an Anglo-Saxon building to be reconstructed using traditional thatching methods and materials, and to deliver workshops and onsite training, in south Oxfordshire.

The charity has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant to reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon timber-framed building in a new project known as the House of Wessex. A summary of the project can be found at: www.sylva.org.uk/wessex

Expressions will be accepted only via the following EOI online form:

https://goo.gl/forms/qBRYYWY3kvNCLqf32

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IS FRIDAY 29TH JUNE 2018


Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund


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Make a canoe paddle course 8th June 2018

posted on June 1, 2018

Make a canoe paddle

8th and 9th June 2018

9.00am to 5.00pm

During this two-day course with award-winning boat builder Colin Henwood, you will learn how to shape a single canoe paddle from Ash using hand tools.

“I can’t think of anything that could have improved a perfect couple of days – I will signing up for another one soon.”
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Colin was fantastic; his attention to detail and support ensured we all left with a paddle I think even he was happy with!
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

  • Working with ash – our superior native hardwood.
  • Using traditional skills and tools you will produce a complex shape with hand and eye.
  • Learn how to finish your smooth and elegant design.
  • Take home a unique and usable canoe paddle ready for a varnish or an oil finish.
  • Tools and materials included (if you wish to bring your own tools please discuss this with the tutor).

Cost: £225 per person (materials included)

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor: Colin Henwood

book-now

Book your place

 


About the tutor

Colin Henwood founded his boatyard, Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders, in 1982 specialising in restoring and building wooden Thames launches. The boatyard received many awards in the UK and abroad, and in 2014 Colin was awarded Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association. In October 2016 Colin handed the boatyard over to two of his team who are successfully continuing the tradition he began 35 years ago. Not one to retire, Colin has established a workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre where he is currently re-building a 1920 Thames motor canoe.

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

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An introduction to forest school

posted on May 1, 2018

Creating forest school standards, benefits for children, and the future of the forest school movement — Sarah Lawfull provides a helpful introduction to forest school.

Willowcroft children at the Future Forest September 2016

Willowcroft children at the Future Forest September 2016

Forest school has been growing steadily in the UK and abroad since staff from Bridgwater College headed out to see the excellent examples in Denmark in 2003. Building on a strong tradition of outdoor learning and holistic approaches to education, forest school has been a grass roots movement. The rich variety of woodland habitats in the UK is matched only by the wide variety of approaches offered by members of the Forest School Association (FSA).

Read the full story on the Woodland Trust’s blog


Sarah Lawfull, Director of Where the fruit is, runs her environmental education business from the Sylva Wood Centre, making good use of our new forest school area to ‘train the trainers’.

Category: Announcements

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Artweeks at the Sylva Wood Centre

posted on April 26, 2018

We’re looking forward to opening the doors to the Sylva Wood Centre during Oxfordshire Artweeks. This year we will be open from 10am to 5pm on the weekends of 19/20 and 26/27/28 May.

Artweeks at the Sylva Wood Centre

Artweeks at the Sylva Wood Centre

The Sylva Wood Centre in Long Wittenham is a community of small businesses and woodworking professionals who design or make in wood and related crafts, run by Sylva Foundation. Meet the resident designers alongside invited craftspeople, and marvel at the fine furniture, unique woodcarving, traditional wooden boats, small pieces in beautiful woods, original soft furnishing, outdoor furniture, screens and buildings in oak, prints and pieces made in mixed media combining wood, metal, resin and textiles.

Meet the makers, tour their workshops, buy gift vouchers for craft courses, and buy or commission individual pieces. Watch live demonstrations during the day, and enjoy the pop-up HardWood Café. Visitors can take a stroll outside in the developing Future Forest and Community Orchard.

Oxfordshire ArtWeeks

Oxfordshire ArtWeeks

For more details about our group exhibition, and to explore a veritable colony of other wonderful galleries nearby in Oxfordshire, visit Oxfordshire Artweeks.


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Trees play a role in every part of human life

posted on April 25, 2018
Around the World in 80 Trees

Around the World in 80 Trees

In his latest book Around the World in 80 Trees Jonathan Drori CBE — trustee of the Eden Project, Ambassador for the WWF and former trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew — uses plant science to illustrate how trees play a role in every part of human life; from the romantic to the regrettable to the downright ridiculous.

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Jonathan Drori is one of five top environmental authors talking about their books at our unique WoodWords 2018 event.

Tickets limited and selling fast – buy yours now!

24th May: 6.30pm at the Sylva Wood Centre (Ox14 4QT)


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