news

Sylva launches premium account for myForest

posted on January 14, 2019

A new premium account has been launched for Sylva’s flagship woodland management online software myForest. Users will have access to new tools, while income from regular subscriptions will help the charity invest further in the technology.

Since its launch in 2009, Sylva Foundation’s myForest web tool has been growing steadily, just like the woodlands it exists to support. The environmental charity has relied on word-of-mouth and a strong reputation for the increasing popularity of its online tools and resources supporting woodland management.

myForest is used by thousands of woodland owners, managers and educators, to map and manage more than 75,000ha of woodland across Britain. Its development has been supported in part by charitable trusts, government bodies, corporations, and individual donors. However, myForest requires regular funding to support maintenance and development, and the Sylva Foundation receives frequent requests for new features.

Behind the scenes, thanks to core support from The Dulverton Trust, the Sylva Foundation has been hard at work developing a range of additional premium-level tools which it now hopes some woodland owners and managers will opt to use. Paul Orsi from Sylva Foundation, who manages myForest, explained:

“We have introduced these additional tools in response to demands by users. We have kept the costs as low as possible, at only £24/year for a Woodland Owner account and £120/year for an Agent account. We hope that some owners, managers, and agents, will subscribe to a premium account. The income generated will support ongoing maintenance and allow us to invest further in the future of myForest.”

myForest feature table

myForest feature table

The most significant addition to the service, accessed via the new premium account, is access to digital mapping from the Ordnance Survey (note that additional costs apply dependent on usage). This is likely to be popular with those requiring maps for formal applications, or where existing aerial mapping imagery is poor.

myForest Woodland Manager showing OS background

myForest Woodland Manager showing OS background

With a myForest premium account you can now view data layers such as ancient woodland

With a myForest premium account you can now view data layers such as ancient woodland

A new measuring tool is just one of the new features we have added to myForest through a premium account

A new measuring tool is just one of the new features we have added to myForest through a premium account

Alongside OS mapping, various other options are on offer, including: advanced printing, overlaying of data layers such as ancient woodland boundaries, plus a range of reports such as summary reports for species and age-class distributions.

A myForest premium account allows you to download automatically generated reports for your woodland

A myForest premium account allows you to download automatically generated reports for your woodland

It is also possible to export a work programme to a spreadsheet so that it can be taken into the field or shared with others.

More features will be added to premium accounts over time and the charity will be developing a myForest mobile app by the end of the year.

www.myforest.org.uk


Comments (0)

Give an unusual gift this Christmas and support Sylva

posted on November 15, 2018

If you’re looking for a unique gift for someone special this Christmas, take a look at some unusual offers from Sylva Foundation. Read on to find out about our unique range of courses, an award-winning tree book available signed by the author, and some very special single-edition prints from the book.


Gift a course at the Sylva Wood Centre

Choose from Canoe paddle making, Green wood stool making, Guitar maintenance & repair, Pole lathe working, Saxon building woodwork, Treewrighting and Timber-framing, and Hurdle-Making. Courses will be supported by our brand new Teaching Barn, and overseen by our newly-appointed Head of Wood School.

Via our shop you can also purchase gift vouchers for courses which offer a substantial discount to someone special to use when they book their own course of choice.

See the full range of courses and details


Gift a signed copy of The New Sylva

The New Sylva book

The New Sylva – purchase the book from us and help support the charity

The New Sylva: a discourse of forest and orchard trees for the twenty-first century is a detailed and sumptuous celebration of trees and forests, by authors Gabriel Hemery (our Chief Executive) and Sarah Simblet (former Sylva Artist in Residence). Published by Bloomsbury in 2014, its 400 pages feature more than 100 tree species, accompanied by 200 specially commissioned pen and ink drawings.

Its pages contain not merely descriptions of the appearance of individual species. . . . It is a magisterial work that combines art and history with science. . . . The book is a stimulating read, and beautiful to look at.”
Jack Watkins, The Countryman.

“Gabriel Hemery’s text is a precise, fascinating, fluent, wide-ranging and hard-headed synthesis: an excellent popular introduction to tree biology and forestry. But the book is more than that . . . Hemery is out to celebrate and inspire passion and love . . .”
Caspar Henderson, Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

  • Books of the Year, 2014. Mail on Sunday.
  • Winner, Trade Illustrated, British Book Design and Production Awards, 2014.
  • Premier Award, International Society of Typographic Designers.

All proceeds of sales via our online shop directly support our charitable work. Copies are signed by Gabriel Hemery, and a personal dedication can be added on request.


Purchase a single-edition print from The New Sylva

Print and certificate from The New Sylva single-edition offer

Print and certificate from The New Sylva single-edition offer

The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet – published to wide acclaim by Bloomsbury in 2014 – contains 200 stunning pen and ink drawings, including whole-tree portraits, botanical parts and forest scenes. They were drawn by internationally-renowned artist Sarah Simblet while she was artist-in-residence for environmental charity the Sylva Foundation. Just 14 remain available for sale.

Sarah Simblet rarely sells her work as prints. This represents a unique investment and a special opportunity for fans of her stunning drawings. Each print is signed by Sarah Simblet, and accompanied by an attractive Certificate of Authenticity, signed by both authors of The New Sylva.

Visit our online shop to see the available prints.


 

Category: Announcements
Tags: ,

Comments (0)

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

Category: Announcements
Tags:

Comments (0)

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


Comments (1)

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

Category: Admin, Announcements
Tags:

Comments (0)

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.

 

 

Category: Announcements
Tags:

Comments (0)

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


Comments (1)

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


Comments (1)

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

Category: Announcements, Courses
Tags:

Comments (0)

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

Comments (0)
Older Posts »