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The new Sylva Friends scheme

posted on November 17, 2021

We are very excited to launch the new Sylva Friends scheme.

Sylva Friends

Join the Sylva Friends

The Sylva Friends scheme is for anyone who shares our vision for a society that cares for nature while living in harmony with it. We hope you may be interested in becoming a Sylva Friend because you love what we do and how we do it.

By joining the Sylva Friends, you will genuinely become a friend of our dynamic small charity. Your collaborative support will help us make a meaningful difference in this world. Together, we will nurture a stronger wood culture, and grow an even better future.

We will spend your money on delivering our charitable mission, not on cheap giveaways or expensive membership magazines. That doesn’t mean you’ll never receive nothing in return! Sylva Friends will receive a regular enews offering unique insights into our work, a discount on items in our shop, early-bird opportunities to events, and more.

We offer Friends membership options for individuals, families, and corporates. You can choose whether to pay monthly, annually, or even to become a lifetime Sylva Friend. You can even gift a Friends membership to someone special as an unusual, but meaningful gift.

Visit our new Friends page to find out more. We hope we can welcome you soon!

Sylva Friends

Read more about the Sylva Friends scheme


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The New Sylva returns

posted on November 16, 2021

After selling out early in 2021, we are delighted to announce that The New Sylva is back in print in a new format, with signed copies available in our online shop. The book was co-authored by our CEO Gabriel Hemery as a way of promoting the Sylva Foundation and raising funds towards our activities.

The New Sylva is a detailed and sumptuous celebration of trees and forests, by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet. First published by Bloomsbury in 2014, the 400 pages of The New Sylva features more than 100 tree species, accompanied by 200 specially commissioned pen and ink drawings. This new 2021 Edition is a slightly smaller format of the award-winning book, and the layout is identical to the 2014 original, it is now available to enjoy at half the price. This would make a perfect Christmas gift for the nature lover in your life, and help support Sylva Foundation’s activities!

The original (now ‘deluxe’) edition with the red spine is still out of print but coming spring 2022.

The New Sylva (2021 edition)

The New Sylva (2021 edition)

Visit our shop to order your signed copy (books will be signed by lead author Gabriel Hemery).

The New Sylva 2021 end papers

The New Sylva 2021 end papers – now include a beautiful printed Ex Libris box


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Launch of the Sylva Wood School Fellowship Fund

posted on August 27, 2021

Could you help support a young craftsperson by making a donation to our new Sylva Wood School Fellowship Fund?

We are pleased to launch a new campaign aiming to establish a fund to support young craftspeople who graduate from our Professional Making Course. The Sylva Wood School Fellowship Fund will allow us to appoint Fellows, chosen from our course alumni.

Sylva Wood School

 

At the Sylva Wood School we are training a new generation of young people to work creatively with home-grown wood. We aim to help them establish a successful career, improve their chances of employment, and ultimately to become ambassadors for home-grown wood in future society. Each year we have students who complete our six-month course. We aim to help the very best of our alumni progress their skills and experience by establishing a fund to support them financially during the difficult months following their graduation. During this time, we will also help them practically by providing a work bench with access to ongoing advice and support at the Wood School. Read more about the Professional Making Course

Money raised through this campaign will be held by Sylva Foundation and used to create a fund from which grants can be awarded to deserving young people under the Sylva Wood School Fellowship programme. Donors can choose to give once or set up a regular donation.

Please see the interactive form below (or click here)



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Become a Patron of the House of Wessex

posted on October 9, 2018

The House of Wessex is a unique reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon house of significant importance in English history. The faithful reconstruction of the building, working with dozens of volunteers, and an associated programme of learning, is part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Sylva Foundation needs help to raise funds to realise the project’s full potential, and establish a legacy fund.

House of Wessex banner

House of Wessex banner

BRONZE  *  £250

Your donation will help us create and manage a unique historical reconstructed building — thank you.

  • We will write to you personally to thank you, recognising your significant contribution.
  • A personalised certificate recognising your contribution.
  • Your name will be appear in an online Patrons Board.

SILVER  * £500

Your support will mean we can build a better future for the House of Wessex, and our education programme.

Everything in BRONZE, plus . . .

  • Your name will be displayed in the building on a Patrons Board.
  • An invitation to a unique evening of Anglo-Saxon activities.

GOLD  *  £1,000

In recognition of your significant support, we offer some very special perks.

Everything in BRONZE and SILVER, plus . . .

  • Your name hand-carved in a beam or post. You can even learn to carve some of your own letters with a master craftsperson.
  • Invitation to a VIP opening of the building in autumn 2019.
  • Limited edition print of the building and reconstructed scene by a leading archaeological reconstruction artist.

 

Every pound we raise will go directly to the House of Wessex project. Thank you.

 

Find out more and pledge your support via Charity Checkout

Find out more and pledge your support via Charity Checkout

If you would prefer to talk with someone in the Sylva team, please call 01865 408018.

 


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WoodWords 2018

posted on June 1, 2018

We hosted a fabulous WoodWords 2018 event at the Sylva Wood Centre last week. Thanks to the generosity of the authors, who freely gave their time to support the event, and the one hundred or so ticket purchasers, we raised some very welcome income for the charity.

WoodWords2018 authors. Photo Tuc Ahmad

WoodWords 2018 authors (left to right): Gabriel Hemery, Ruth Pavey, Jon Drori, Fiona Stafford, and Neil Ansell. Photo Tuc Ahmad.

The event took place on 24th May, set among the ongoing Artweeks exhibition so guests were able to tour the workshops and speak with our resident craftspeople during the intervals.

 


About the Authors and their books

Around the World in 80 Trees

Jonathan Drori, a former documentary film maker and executive producer at the BBC, has been a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Woodland Trust. He is on the board of the Eden Project and is an Ambassador for the WWF. Around the World in 80 Trees (Laurence King) celebrates trees as one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. They offer us sanctuary and inspiration and of course the raw materials for our lives. Jon uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human endeavour, from the romantic to the regrettable.

The Long, Long Life of Trees

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford. In 2014 she wrote the text for the Charter of Trees, Woods, and People. Fiona’s book The Long, Long Life of Trees (Yale University Press) is a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings. Each of its 17 chapters is dedicated to a common British tree, drawing on folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each trees’ central place in western civilisation. The book was formerly Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year.

The Last Wilderness

Neil Ansell is a writer and award-winning television journalist. The Last Wilderness: a journey into silence (Tinder Press) explores the experience of being in nature in the context of a series of walks that Neil takes into the most remote parts of Britain. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it. In the book, Neil explores the coastal oakwoods, northern birchwoods and relic pinewoods of Scotland, and as he walks he reflects on his past, including years spent as a forestry worker in Wales and Sweden. As a counterpoint, Neil also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.

A Wood of One’s Own

Ruth Pavey is a gardening journalist and writer based in London. After years spent living amid its urban thrum, Ruth yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, she found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One’s Own (Duckworth) is the story of how Ruth grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife.

Green Gold: the lost journals of John Jeffrey

Gabriel Hemery is co-founder and Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation. His first book The New Sylva (Bloomsbury) was published to wide acclaim in 2014. His latest book Green Gold (Unbound Publishing) is a fictional biographical novel based on a true story. In 1850, young Scottish tree-hunter John Jeffrey is despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic tree species in North America. Three years after setting out, after traversing British Columbia, Oregon and California, John Jeffrey disappears without a trace. Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? The discovery of his missing journals finally reveals the truth behind an extraordinary adventure. www.unbound.com/books/green-gold


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Does life mean you to do a somersault?

posted on May 1, 2018

“Sometimes you have to check,” writes Ruth Pavey in her book, A Wood of One’s Own, “just in case life means you to do a somersault.” Join us at WoodWords 2018 to hear about her own modest upheaval – buying a piece of land at auction on the Somerset Levels with a view to creating a new woodland.

A Wood of One's Own, by Ruth Pavey

A Wood of One’s Own, by Ruth Pavey

‘Pavey’s love for her small patch of land shimmers off the page [in this] narrative of warmth, honesty and great spirit made all the more beautiful by Pavey’s own lively and accomplished drawings… this lovely book is itself a gift encouraging country-dweller and townie alike to marvel at the infinite possibilities at the heart of a single tree’ The Daily Mail, Book of the Week

‘Practical and full of helpful advice which has been artfully baked-in throughout. If someone asks you what you’d like for Christmas or a birthday don’t hesitate to reply, A Wood of One’s OwnWoodlands.co.uk

 

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Ruth Pavey 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)


Ruth Pavey is a gardening journalist and writer based in London. After years spent living amid its urban thrum, Ruth yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, she found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One’s Own (Duckworth) is the story of how Ruth grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife.


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A journey into silence, alone with nature

posted on April 28, 2018
The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell

The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell

BBC Countryfile described Neil Ansell’ s book, The Last Wilderness, as:

‘A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell’s rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that C.S.Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most comfortable armchair and get away from it all’.

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Neil Ansell 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)


Neil Ansell is a writer and award-winning television journalist. The Last Wilderness: a journey into silence (Tinder Press) explores the experience of being in nature in the context of a series of walks that Neil takes into the most remote parts of Britain. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it. In the book, Neil explores the coastal oakwoods, northern birchwoods and relic pinewoods of Scotland, and as he walks he reflects on his past, including years spent as a forestry worker in Wales and Sweden. As a counterpoint, Neil also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.


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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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Last remaining forest plots available to sponsor

posted on November 21, 2017

There are just SIX plots left to plant in the Future Forest – sponsor one now and you can help plant it before Christmas.

By becoming a Friend of the Sylva Future Forest your support will help us plant and maintain one of 325 plots – each measuring 10 x 10m and containing 25 trees.

Forest Friends tree planting

Forest Friends tree planting

You can support the Future Forest by:

  • donating £5/month for three years OR
  • dedicating a plot as a wonderful unique gift for a new baby, a wedding, a special birthday, or in memory of a loved one – £180 one-off payment.

Find out more


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