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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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Woodland owners – have your say in the 2017 Charter

posted on September 7, 2016

Woodland owners and custodians across Britain are being asked to take part in a unique consultation in support of the 2017 Charter for trees, woods and people.

Charter for Trees, Woods and People

Charter for Trees, Woods and People

More than 50 organisations, co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust, are leading UK society in a call for a charter that will ensure that people and trees can stand stronger together in the future. This charter, strengthened by support from all corners of society, will provide guidelines and principles for policy, decision-makers, businesses, communities and individuals.

Sylva Foundation is pleased to be hosting a consultation that will enable woodland owners and custodians across the UK to help define the 2017 Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

The consultation is the only activity specifically aimed at ensuring the views of woodland owners or custodians are reflected in the charter. More than two-thirds of woodlands are held in private hands, so it is vital that the voices of woodland owners/custodians are captured. If you are a woodland owner or custodian, or represent a woodland owner, we would like to record your hopes and fears for the future of your woodland, to ensure that the charter speaks for you, and supports you in your vital role as custodian of the nation’s woodland heritage.

The consultation questions should take only five minutes to complete, or longer if you wish to share more stories. The name of your woodland will be officially recorded in the 2017 Charter for trees, woods and people.

To take part visit: sylva.org.uk/myforest/charter


Sylva Foundation CEO Gabriel Hemery has written a blog post for the Charter website: read it here

 


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myForest development news

posted on August 12, 2016

The myForest Service continues to grow and this month the total area of woodlands mapped across the UK using our tools surpassed 50,000 ha.

Behind the scenes we have some exciting development plans for the service including a new ‘prime’ option which could include OS mapping and other news features.

We like to work closely with the users of myForest — now some 4,400 woodland owners — and we’ve created a simple survey to collect views on our proposed developments. If you are a woodland owner, we would like to hear your views: please take part by completing the questions embedded below.

 

Category: FORESTRY, myForest

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Forest Research in search for Open-Grown Trees

posted on

Why are Forest Research looking for your help?

Forest Research are developing a model to predict growth in individual trees in mixed species and/or mixed age stands.  The work aims to create tools to use in the management of Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF).

As part of this process the model needs to be constrained by setting the upper limit for the predicted maximum growth of individual trees. For this we need to collect data from a sample of open grown trees i.e. trees that have grown free from competition and have therefore reached their full potential in terms of diameter and crown development.  If you think you know of an open-grown tree or trees, then you may be able to help us with our research.

What locations and species do we want to sample?

We are looking to select trees from across the whole of Great Britain, to represent different geographical and age ranges.  We are particularly keen to get data on the following list:

  • Douglas fir
  • Scots pine
  • oak (pedunculate/sessile/hybrid)
  • Sitka spruce (above 40cm dbh)
  • Western hemlock

Additional species to be assessed, if present at the same (or close) location as the five listed above, are: beech, birch, Grand fir, Norway spruce and sycamore.

How do we define ‘Open-Grown Trees’?

Trees that have grown free from inter-tree competition throughout their entire life. They can be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Ideally a crown free of competition by shading on all sides, throughout its life. In practice, trees with up to a maximum of 25% shading and those subjected to competition for a limited period of time at young age could also be accepted (any deviation from the ideal case should be recorded)
  2. Branches extending as low as possible. For some species it could be to the ground (or nearly so), for others allowance should be made for the natural receding of lower branches (e.g. Scots pine or oak)
  3. No forking for the entire length of the tree (this is below the spring of crown in broadleaves)
  4. No evidence of pruning, shearing, browsing, decay, storm or insect damage

What measurements will be taken?

We would like to make an assessment of each suitable open ground tree identified.  This will include measurement of diameter at breast height, total height, height of the live crown and crown width.  We will ensure that any necessary permissions are granted prior to us undertaking any assessment.

If you think you can help please contact Ian Craig ian.craig@forestry.gsi.gov.uk  or

Catia Arcangeli catia.arcangeli@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

If you would like to know more about our research on the modelling of mixed-age and mixed species stands please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/infd-8bxetz


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myForest collaborative management piloted in Argyll

posted on June 6, 2016

In February Sylva’s Director for Forestry, Paul Orsi, visited Argyll to find out how the myForest service could help an innovative group of woodlands owners (read more).  Since then both Sylva Foundation and the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative have been working hard to develop and test a new collaborative tool.

The co-operative have been collecting and inputting data on behalf of members, as well as encouraging other owners to start to use the myForest service.  Understanding and documenting the forest resource has been a vital first step to collaboration. The tool, once fully developed and tested, will allow the co-operative to query woodland information across its members and therefore allow them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.

myForest client import screen

myForest client import screen

The new Query Tool provides a simple suite of filters, searches and report outputs based on a range of data including species, age and size, or presence of a Felling Licence application.

myForest query tool screen

myForest query tool screen

The Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative will continue to pilot this functionality on myForest over the next nine months with the plan for it to be released to other groups soon after.

If you run a similar co-operative, or would like to, please get in touch with Paul Orsi so that we can discuss how myForest could support you in future.

If you would like to join the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative please contact Neil Donaldson at: mail@donenvironmental.co.uk

Our thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland for funding this innovative project.

 

 


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myForest supports the Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative

posted on February 26, 2016

Recently our Director for Forestry, Paul Orsi,  visited Argyll to find out how the myForest service will be helping an innovative group of woodlands owners.

Paul Orsi discussing ideas with the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative

Paul Orsi discussing ideas with the Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative

Whilst many of the large conifer forests in the area are being managed as part of a crop rotation there are many smaller woodlands, often part of mixed farms and estates, which are not being managed because costs can be prohibitive. The Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative (ASWC) are looking to pool the combined resources of these small woodlands to make it economically viable to get these woods into active management.

Pooling of resources can only start once there is good knowledge about the resource itself. Neil Donaldson Secretary of the ASWC contacted Sylva in Spring 2015 to see if myForest could help them to collate information across land ownerships. The existing myForest service worked in a way that allows individual owners to map, store information and create a management plan for their woodlands, so we were keen to explore how we could add more functionality to the web service to support co-operation between owners.

The existing Agent account allows managers with multiple clients to store individual client accounts but not pool that information. Thanks to the relationship built up with Neil Donaldson and ASWC, we are now developing a tool that
will allow the ASWC to query woodland information across members of the co-operative and therefore allow them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.

ASWC will pilot this functionality on myForest over the next year with the plan for it to be released to other groups soon after. If you run a similar co-operative, or would like to, please get in touch so that we can start discussing how we could support you in future. Watch out on our blog and newsletters as we follow this fascinating story over the next year.

Our thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland for funding this innovative project.

 


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myForest supports felling licence applications in Scotland

posted on February 16, 2016
Read more about Felling Licences on the Forestry Commission Scotland website

Read more about Felling Licences on the Forestry Commission Scotland website

Last September the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) Management Planning Template was integrated into myForest.  This meant that woodland owners and managers in Scotland could map, store woodland information and create a FCS-compliant management plan using online tools provided by myForest.

In a progression of our work with FCS we are pleased to announce that, as of today, woodland owners and managers are able to create Felling Licence applications through myForest. Paul Orsi, Director for Forestry at the Sylva Foundation, who will be launching the application at a meeting of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society in Stirling this evening said:

“we are delighted to continue building our relationship with FCS and improving the services that we can offer to users in Scotland.  By being able to use myForest to apply for felling licences, woodland owners and managers in Scotland can now benefit from the full functionality of myForest that has been available to our 3000+ users in England for the last few years”.

Full instructions as well as ‘hints and tips’ are available throughout the system to make it user-friendly.  Video guidance specifically focused on the Felling Licence Application functionality will be available shortly.

Screenshot of the new Felling Licence functionality in myForest for woodland owners and managers in Scotland

Screenshot of the new Felling Licence functionality in myForest for woodland owners and managers in Scotland

Read more about myForest


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Woodland area supported by myForest tops 40000 hectares

posted on December 10, 2015
myForest tops 40000ha

myForest tops 40000ha

A small cheer was heard in our forestry team this week when the area of woodland across the UK supported by our myForest service topped 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres).

Since the launch of the dedicated services for woodland owners and agents in Scotland we’ve seen encouraging growth in this nation. The number of woodland owners now using the service is just short of 3,500.

Live myForest stats are available to view at any time

 

Category: myForest
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Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards open for entries

posted on November 17, 2015

This year the Sylva Foundation is delighted to be a supporter of Scotland’s Finest Woods Award. The award chimes perfectly with the recent expansion of the support we offer to Scottish woodland owners through the myForest service – read more.

Scotlands Finest Woods AwardThe Scotland’s Finest Woods Award 2016 is now open for entries! For more information and to apply visit their website at: www.sfwa.co.uk.

Entries to all four categories are encouraged and there is one for all aspects of the very best standards of woodland management across Scotland including:

  • quality timber at whole estate or compartment/stand/small wood scales;
  • new woodlands both native and commercial;
  • community woodlands; and
  • schools and pre-schools projects related to trees, woodlands or forests.

Angela Douglas Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said:

“We, at Scotland’s Finest Woods, want to recognise the very best of Scotland woods, their management and all they can offer.”

In 2016 there is nearly £7,000 of prize money and striking trophies for winners. Do you have a wood you are involved with, own or manage that you consider could be one of the finest in Scotland? If so, don’t delay apply today! Simply complete a short entry form with basic location, contact details and state in no more than 500 words why you think your entry would make a worthy winner of the particular prestigious award.

Entries are encouraged before the year ends on 31st December 2015. Please submit as early as possible, ideally before Christmas 2015.  Any entries received after 31st March 2016 will not be considered. The closing date for next year (the 2017 Awards) onwards will change to end December at the very latest annually, except for Schools that will remain with a 31st March deadline.


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Managing Atlantic woodland for lichens and bryophytes: free workshops for land managers

posted on November 16, 2015

Sylva is pleased to promote an important new project that will provide support for owners of Atlantic woodland.

The Atlantic woodlands of south-west England are internationally important for their lichens and bryophytes. However, these often-overlooked lower plant communities face a range of threats from habitat loss and climate change, to impacts from management practices and invasive species. Plantlife’s Make the Small Things Count Project has produced a Habitat Toolkit to provide practical management advice. These one day workshops will be hands-on, practical sessions to launch the toolkit and support land managers to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of Atlantic woodland ecology and the requirements of lichens and bryophytes;
  • Identify priority areas for management;
  • Identify what management is appropriate in different scenarios;
  • Monitor lichens and bryophytes and assess the impacts of management.

All participants will receive a copy of the toolkit as well as Plantlife’s ID guides for key lichens and bryophytes.

Lobaria pulmonaria (c) Ray Woods-Plantlife

Lobaria pulmonaria in an Atlantic woodland. (c) Ray Woods, Plantlife

 

Workshop dates:

  • Tuesday 19th January 10am-3pm at Yarner Wood, East Dartmoor NNR TQ13 9LJ
  • Thursday 28th January 10am-3pm at Holford Village Hall, Quantocks AONB TA5 1SD
  • Thursday 4th February 10am-3pm at Piles Mill, Exmoor National Park TA24 8HP
  • Wednesday 10th February 10am-3pm at Burrator Discovery Centre PL20 6PE

Booking essential. Register online here at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/VNY7RYN

There is a limit of 15 people per workshop. You only need to attend one session. Please book early to avoid disappointment. For further information contact:
alison.smith@plantlife.org.uk

In January 2016 a web-link to the toolkit will be created in the myForest resources section.


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