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Volunteer and get digging with archaeologists

posted on July 17, 2017

In September there will be an archaeological excavation at the Sylva Wood Centre. This is your chance to get involved!  Either just come along to one of our Open Days, and/or volunteer to join the archaeologists during the two-week excavation from 11-22 September (excluding Monday 18th). You can join the team and help dig, or identify, sort and clean finds.

Archaeological excavations at Sylva Wood Centre September 2016

Previous archaeological excavations at Sylva Wood Centre, September 2016

No experience is required and we will provide training. You can volunteer for a half-day or one full-day, or any number of days, across the time we are working. There is no charge but we would be extremely grateful for a £5 voluntary donation from all volunteers to cover the cost of hiring the digger to strip topsoil at the dig site. Please see the booking link at the end of this post.

Volunteering Open Day Saturday 9 September

If you think you would like to volunteer please come to our volunteering Open Day on Saturday 9 September to see the site, learn more about the archaeology and register for a day/days. The site will be open from 10am to 3pm. If you really can’t come in person please email: jane.harrison@conted.ox.ac.uk

Places will be limited and given on a first come first served basis. Book your place here

Open Day Sunday 17 September

The site will be open from 10.30am to 3.30pm with tours of the site, opportunities to chat with the archaeologists, see the finds, learn more about the past of your area and about the Sylva Foundation, and to picnic on the Sylva Foundation estate.

Excavation details for potential volunteers: 11-22 September inclusive (not 18 September)

  • We will work from 9am to 5pm with breaks for lunch and for tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon.
  • Sylva will provide inside and outside areas for sitting, access to water and toilets.
  • You will need to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and stout shoes or boots. Bring layers, a hat, sun-cream and waterproofs, plus your lunch and a water bottle.
  • Sylva and the Archaeologist team will provide all equipment and training; hot drinks, shelter and access to toilets and drinking water.

The excavation and the history of the site

The dig will be run by a team of archaeologists from the University of Oxford and the Department for Continuing Education’s East Oxford Archaeology Project.

An excavation in the same ordinary-looking field last year uncovered an Anglo-Saxon hall-building – probably part of a big complex of buildings (see photo above). This year we’re looking at what might be earlier archaeology from the Iron Age and Romano-British times before Sylva complete their wonderful tree-planting scheme. The area of the field has clearly been a popular place to live, and what we find might link it to the Roman archaeology of Dorchester and to the Iron Age hillfort on Wittenham Clumps.

 

Book your place here

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Make a canoe paddle 26-27Jan2018

posted on July 11, 2017

Make a canoe paddle

26th and 27th January 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.

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 useable 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:                         £200 per person (materials included)

Venue:                     Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor:                       Colin Henwood

 

Purchase your place on this course

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.


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Pole lathe course 17Feb2018

posted on June 22, 2017

 

Greenwood-workshop-header

Course date: 17th February 2018, 9.30am – 4.00pm

A one-day course to learn how to work with green wood using a pole lathe and make something to take home at the end of the day. Learn with expert green woodworker and experienced tutor Peter Wood.

For centuries the Bodgers used the methods you’ll learn on this course to produce a variety of items. You will work a freshly sawn log though each stage needed to make a useful household object, such as a garden dibber or baby’s rattle to take home. Each student will have the full use of a pole lathe, shaving horse and set of greenwood working tools.

On the course you will learn:

  • how to safely use the tools provided
  • how to carefully select logs for working
  • how to cleave (split) the logs for working
  • how to shape the wood using a shaving horse and drawknife
  • how to turn greenwood using a pole lathe.

Cost: £100 per person

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

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

Purchase your place on this course

Book your place

 


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Pole lathe course 20 Jan 2018

posted on

 

Greenwood-workshop-header

Course date: 20th January 2018, 9.30am – 4.00pm

A one-day course to learn how to work with green wood using a pole lathe and make something to take home at the end of the day. Learn with expert green woodworker and experienced tutor Peter Wood.

For centuries the Bodgers used the methods you’ll learn on this course to produce a variety of items. You will work a freshly sawn log though each stage needed to make a useful household object, such as a garden dibber or baby’s rattle to take home. Each student will have the full use of a pole lathe, shaving horse and set of greenwood working tools.

On the course you will learn:

  • how to safely use the tools provided
  • how to carefully select logs for working
  • how to cleave (split) the logs for working
  • how to shape the wood using a shaving horse and drawknife
  • how to turn greenwood using a pole lathe.

Cost: £100 per person

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

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

Purchase your place on this course

Book your place

 


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Green wood stool course 11 Nov 2017

posted on June 12, 2017

Following the sell-out success of this course in February, we are pleased to offer a new one-day course: learn how to make a green wood stool. Working with green wood using simple hand tools, by the end of the day you will make a ‘basic’ three-legged stool under the expert tuition of green woodworker Peter Wood.

Greenwood-workshop-header

Greenwood workshop 11th November 2017

Course date:   11th November 2017, 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:          sylva.charitycheckout.co.uk/GreenWoodDayCourse_11Nov2017

 


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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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Managing Woods for Woodfuel course

posted on November 6, 2016
Ignite training programme

Ignite training programme

We are pleased to announce an Ignite training course to be held at the Sylva Wood Centre on 7th December: Managing woods for woodfuel.

Ignite Managing Woods for Woodfuel focuses on planting, managing and harvesting woodlands for use as woodfuel.  What timber is suited to what type of woodfuel (logs or chips), assessing woodlands, measuring timber, harvesting, extraction, conversion and the economic modelling of timber harvesting and woodfuel conversion are covered in this one day course.  A Lantra Awards certificate of attendance is issued on completion of the course.

The course date and venue is:

  • Wednesday 7th December
  • Sylva Wood Centre, Long Wittenham, Oxford, OX14 4QT

Courses cost £180.00 (including VAT) per person and include Lantra Awards certification fees, handbooks and catering on the day.  A 10% discount is offered to members of Woodsure, the Wood Heat Association and the Confor Woodfuel Suppliers Group.  Please contact the office for more details.

Ignite is an innovative training programme of practical seminars and interactive workshops with a focus on woodfuel. Ignite is designed for those wanting to know more about woodfuel and to equip new and existing woodfuel businesses with the skills and knowledge required to meet the increasing demand for high quality products from this growing alternative market. Compliance with the sustainability requirements for fuel supplied to systems receiving RHI payments are a key feature of all our Ignite courses.

 

To book, please contact Erica Spencer at RDI Associates by:

Full course details are available on the RDI website: http://www.ruraldevelopment.org.uk/events/categories/training-course/

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Ignite Woodfuel training at Sylva Wood Centre

posted on July 28, 2016

Ignite logo

 

 

We are pleased to announce two Ignite training courses to be held at the Sylva Wood Centre this autumn.

Ignite is an innovative training programme of practical seminars and interactive workshops with a focus on woodfuel.  Ignite is designed for those wanting to know more about woodfuel and to equip new and existing woodfuel businesses with the skills and knowledge required to meet the increasing demand for high quality products from this growing alternative market. Compliance with the sustainability requirements for fuel supplied to systems receiving RHI payments are a key feature of all our Ignite courses.

Ignite Firewood Production and Supply is aimed at both existing and fledgling firewood businesses. The course covers firewood as a renewable fuel, sources of timber for firewood, equipment to handle, produce and deliver firewood, units and conversion factors, markets and economics of the supply chain including calculating sales prices from wet and dry weight to loose and stacked volumes. A Lantra Awards certificate of attendance is issued on completion of the course.

Ignite Managing Woods for Woodfuel focuses on planting, managing and harvesting woodlands for use as woodfuel. What timber is suited to what type of woodfuel (logs or chips), assessing woodlands, measuring timber, harvesting, extraction, conversion and the economic modelling of timber harvesting and woodfuel conversion are covered in this one day course. A Lantra Awards certificate of attendance is issued on completion of the course.

Course Dates Location
Firewood Production and Supply Thursday

22nd September 2016

Sylva Wood Centre, Long Wittenham, Oxford, OX14 4QT
Managing Woods for Woodfuel Wednesday

12th October 2016

Sylva Wood Centre, Long Wittenham, Oxford, OX14 4QT

 

Courses cost £180.00 (including VAT) per person and include Lantra Awards certification fees, handbooks and catering on the day. A 10% discount is offered to members of Woodsure, the Wood Heat Association and the Confor Woodfuel Suppliers Group.  Please contact the office for more details.

To book, please contact Erica Spencer at RDI Associates by:

Full course details are available on the RDI website:  http://www.ruraldevelopment.org.uk/events/categories/training-course/

 


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Knife whittling workshop for educators

posted on July 8, 2016

We are pleased to offer a half-day workshop designed for Forest School Leaders and any educators interested to learn new skills with wood. It will be run by Simon Clements, Wood Carver based at the Sylva Wood Centre, supported by the Sylva Foundation.

knife whittling workshop

knife whittling workshop

During this workshop you will:

  • Learn to make your own whittling knife with a wooden handle (blades provided)
  • Learn how to care for knives including sharpening

About the tutor:

Simon Clements is a Wood Carver based at the Sylva Wood Centre, and is keen support Forest School Leaders in developing their skills with wood. He trained as a potter and came to carving via boat building and has a background in education.

Where:

The Sylva Wood Centre, Long Wittenham, OX14 4QT (see map)

When:

The course will be run on:

  • Thursday 6th October 4pm  – 7pm

Cost:

£30.00 per person

This cost includes all materials, tuition and tea/coffee.

Please bring:

  • Your own penknife or whittling knife.

Booking:

Book your place online via Charity Checkout

 

 


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Wood Centre abuzz with first woodworking course

posted on April 29, 2016

Last Saturday we hosted our first woodworking course at the Sylva Wood Centre.  The course was organised on behalf of the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group.

Course tutor Matt Mercy uses locally-grown western red cedar and larch for his hives, so the course chimed perfectly with Sylva’s principles of using more sustainably-grown wood products.  Matt helped 14 students to make Warré hives.  These types of hives are favoured in ‘natural beekeeping’ for their high level of insulation and a ‘chimney effect’, which keeps the bees warmer than some other hive types. Also the hive boxes have shuttered window inserts which allow for non-intrusive observations of bee colony activity and health.

Oxford Natural Beekeeping Group workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre

Oxford Natural Beekeeping Group workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre, April 2016

‘Natural beekeeping’ covers a spectrum of approaches to keeping bees which encompass bee-centric, low intervention, chemical-free methodologies. This is a holistic approach that facilitates natural bee behaviours and promotes bee health through providing healthy hive environments and allowing for natural selection of robust ‘hygienic’ gene pools.

Matt Mercy, course Tutor, said:

“I was very impressed with the facilities provided and would highly recommend the Sylva Wood Centre to other tutors”.

Paul Honigmann on behalf of the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group said:

“many, many thanks for organising our course at the Sylva Wood Centre.  Everyone left happy and smiling and with something physical they’d made – and for several, the event was their first face to face meeting with other natural beekeepers – a great day for all”.

Read more on the website of the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group.


Are you a woodwork tutor? Please contact Paul Orsi if you are interested in running a woodworking course at the Sylva Wood Centre.

 

 


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