Due to Covid-19, we have reduced personnel at the offices of the Sylva Foundation and our premises at the Sylva Wood Centre. Emails and phone messages are being checked but please allow a little longer than usual to receive a response.
Please do not arrange a formal visit without first checking with us. Members of the public are free to enjoy our network of permitted paths through the Future Forest as usual.


Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

posted on October 5, 2020

We have published our Trustee’s Report and Independent Accounts for the year 2019-20.

2019-20 at a glance:

  • deeply saddened by the death of one our founding trustees, Dr Peter Savill
  • appointed two new trustees, including our new Chair of Trustees, Sarah Taylor
  • supported a high-profile research paper on ash dieback, based on the work of our last Oxford-Sylva Graduate Scholar Dr Louise Hill
  • partnered with government to explore ways to make treescapes more resilient
  • completed a project aiming to make Forest Schools accessible to all children across Britain
  • launched a suite of resources to support ‘Fieldwork in the Forest‘ at secondary schools
  • with our online auction platform NatureBid, we helped support environmental outcomes with multiple partners, including natural flood management, reducing nitrate fertiliser usage, and supporting the Woodland Carbon Guarantee
  • myForest supported 6,000 woodland owners and managers caring for 100,000ha of woodland across Britain
  • won a contract Defra to develop a new online platform to support woodland creation in the Northern Forest, working in partnership with the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust
  • supported 15+ small-medium enterprises working with wood at the Sylva Wood Centre
  • delivered training in woodworking to members of the public and schools at the Sylva Wood School
  • started work converting another large derelict building at the Sylva Wood Centre, including demonstration of novel thermally-modified hardwoods in its construction
  • worked with more than 100 volunteers to design and build an Anglo-Saxon house on our estate and welcomed HRH The Countess of Wessex to open it
Sylva Foundation Annual Report and Accounts 2020

Sylva Foundation Annual Report and Accounts 2020 – click to download

Financial Summary

Sylva Foundation funds 2019-20

Sylva Foundation funds 2019-20


Income (£472,374) was 38% less compared to the last financial year (£766,420). 33% of total income was received in donations, the majority (67%) of which were restricted to specific activities. The majority of income for Charitable Activities (£220,362) came from performance-related grants (£69,380). Income from Trading Activities was £91,535, the majority of which was from business leases at the Sylva Wood Centre.

Expenditure and Additions
Total expenditure was £502,777 which included £253,775 investment (Additions) in ongoing capital building projects at the Sylva Wood Centre. Our overheads (excluding Additions), comprising income generation, admin, and governance, represented 25% of expenditure.


The charity’s funds were £1,794,617 at the end of the 2019-20 financial year. The majority (84%) of these were designated funds.

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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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Annual Review 2014-15 published

posted on August 25, 2015
Sylva Foundation Annual Review 2014-15

Sylva Foundation Annual Review 2014-15

Our Annual Review, covering the period April 2014 to March 2015 is now available to read online.

Chair of Trustees, Dr Peter Savill, introduced the report:

This year has been busy and fruitful for the Sylva Foundation. Highlights have included starting development work at the Sylva Wood Centre, celebrating 350 years of British forestry, and the appointment of our first Education Manager.

Following the donation of land and farm buildings in the last financial year, good progress was made in developing and implementing a vision for the new estate. A large number of volunteers from across the wood-using sector generously gave their time and energies to help develop our thinking. Income from commercial tenancies will help support our proposed activities in fostering new wood-based businesses and education. Conversion of the old potato store started on September 1st and it will open on April 1st 2015.

This year saw the culmination of four years of work celebrating the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s Sylva; a seminal work on forestry first published in 1664, and the inspiration behind our organisation’s name. The New Sylva book was published by Bloomsbury in April. Written by our Chief Executive, with 200 drawings created by our artist-in-residence Sarah Simblet, the book received enthusiastic reviews and has helped earn funds towards our charitable work. Linked to the book, public exhibitions were held at venues across Britain.

We welcomed several new people to the Sylva team. To our trustee board we appointed Luke Hughes (furniture designer and lecturer), Mrs Samantha Leigh (property lawyer) and Michael Wills (specialist in personnel recruitment and NGO management). Thanks to a generous grant from the Patsy Wood Trust we appointed Jen Hurst as our first Education Manager.

We hope you enjoy reading more about our work during the past year together with our plans for the future.

To download the report or to read an page-turning version click here.

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Annual review 2013-14 published

posted on October 3, 2014
Sylva Annual Review 2013-14

Sylva Annual Review 2013-14

Our Annual Review, covering the period April 2013 to March 2014 has been published online.

Chair of Trustees, Dr Nick Brown, introduced the report, writing:

This, our fifth year, has been both fruitful and eventful.

We joined a consortium successful in gaining €1.95 million from the EU’s Life+ programme to deliver NaturEtrade a web-based system that enables EU landowners to assess the provision of ecosystem services on their land. Our second Sylva Scholar started research on the consequences of Chalara ash dieback on ecosystem services. We gained funding for the Living Ash Project – to identify ash trees across Britain with tolerance to Chalara.

The Foundation has been developing its Education Strategy with expert advice from Jen Hurst. Sponsorship of an artist-in-residence in support of a book – The New Sylva – concluded. In partnership with several organisations we launched SilviFuture: a new network established to promote and share knowledge about novel forest species across Britain. We welcomed Paul Orsi as our Director for Forestry & Rural Enterprise. In partnership with DIY retailer B&Q and sustainability charity BioRegional, we created the Good Woods initiative, delivering advice to 235 owners of under-managed woods, covering 10,900 hectares, across SE and E England. We also developed the Woodland Star Rating supporting 300 woodland owners in understanding ecosystem services and the public benefit derived from good woodland stewardship. Users of the myForest service continued to grow – at the end of the year we were supporting 1691 woodland owners, owning 2591 woodlands, covering 30,106ha.

A major donation was received of 8 hectares of land, including farm buildings, in South Oxfordshire. The gift was made to help secure the charity’s long-term future, and specifically to assist in the development of a centre for innovation in home-grown wood under a new charitable object and associated work programme known as ‘Wood’.

We hope you enjoy reading more about our work during the past year and plans for the future. To download the report or to read an interactive page-turning version click here.


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Annual Review 2012-13 published

posted on July 4, 2013
Sylva Foundation 2012-13 Annual Review

Sylva Foundation 2012-13 Annual Review

Our Annual Review for 2012-13 has been published online. It can be downloaded in various versions, including an interactive page-turning version (requires flash), here.

Chair of Trustees, Dr Nick Brown, introduced the report writing “Our fourth operating year as a charity has been one of noticeable energy and delivery. Our plans and activities are beginning to make a significant contribution to the conservation of the environment.”

Highlights of 2012-13 included the British Woodlands Survey 2012, which produced responses from 2600 woodland owners. The New Sylva book, sponsored by Sylva, was written in readiness for publication by Bloomsbury in April 2014. The OneOak project came to a finale with a series of public exhibitions across the country, finishing at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where it attracted almost 50,000 visitors during its six week stay. Our myForest service supported 804 woodland owners in mapping over 18,000 hectares of woodland. Retailer B&Q funded the Good Woods project which will support 200 woodland owners across the southeast and east of England with the provision of tools and training in woodland management.

We hope you enjoy reading more about our work during the past year and plans for the future.

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