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.

news

Thousands of broadleaved trees planted to create fire breaks

posted on August 26, 2015

Environmental change ‒ meaning any change or disturbance of the environment caused by human influences and/or natural ecological processes ‒ seems to be impacting Britain’s trees and forests with increasing frequency and severity.

Swinley Forest fire (c) Ian Emery.

Swinley Forest fire in May 2011. Photo (c) Ian Emery. www.flickr.com/photos/mrianemery

In May 2011 a devastating forest fire killed Corsican pine trees across 110 hectares in Swinley Forest, Berkshire. Dozens of local residents had to flee, while owners Forestry Commission England were faced with the clear up and replanting costs. Forestry Commission forest fire expert Rob Gazzard says that:

“We since planted in about 65,000 broadleaved trees, using a mixture of oak and sweet chestnut to form fire belts, formed by fire-resilient species.”

  • What do you think about environmental change?
  • Have you been affected by environmental change?
  • What are you doing about making our trees and forests more resilient to environmental change?

PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY!

A national survey is aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals.

The information gathered will be used by organisations, policy makers and researchers to help improve the resilience of the nation’s forests. The results will inform the government’s National Adaptation Programme.

British Woodlands Survey 2015The British Woodlands Survey 2015 on Resilience is supported by a very wide number of partners, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It is hosted and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation.

The survey is live from July 31st to September 15th 2015.

Take the survey: www.sylva.org.uk/bws


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Woodland owner supports research into alternative species resistant to tree-killing disease

posted on August 25, 2015
William Theed's conifers field trial

William Theed’s conifer field trial

Environmental change ‒ meaning any change or disturbance of the environment caused by human influences and/or natural ecological processes ‒ seems to be impacting Britain’s trees and forests with increasing frequency and severity.

Following the first reported UK outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum on his estate, Somerset woodland owner William Theed took the lead in supporting research into alternative species resistant to the disease. Mr Theed says:

“After felling most of the Japanese larch, we replanted areas with three conifer species resistant to the pathogen, selecting specific sources we thought would grow well in our woodland.”

  • What do you think about environmental change?
  • Have you been affected by environmental change?
  • What are you doing about making our trees and forests more resilient to environmental change?

PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY!

A national survey is aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals.

The information gathered will be used by organisations, policy makers and researchers to help improve the resilience of the nation’s forests. The results will inform the government’s National Adaptation Programme.

British Woodlands Survey 2015The British Woodlands Survey 2015 on Resilience is supported by a very wide number of partners, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It is hosted and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation.

The survey is live from July 31st to September 15th 2015.

Take the survey: www.sylva.org.uk/bws


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Environmental change: has it impacted you, what actions are you taking, what are your opinions?

posted on August 20, 2015
British Woodlands Survey 2015

Read more and Take the Survey

A national survey is aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals. So far over 750 people have responded from across Britain, yet we are keen to receive more views and opinions.

If you have interest in this important subject, please take the survey at:

www.sylva.org.uk/bws

Environmental change may mean any change or disturbance of the environment caused by human influences and/or natural ecological processes. As such the survey will be exploring climate change, pests, pathogens, flooding, wind and fire, and will be seeking to explore how resilient our forests are to change. The information gathered will be used by organisations, policy makers and researchers to help improve the resilience of the nation’s forests.

The British Woodlands Survey 2015 on Resilience is supported by a very wide number of partners, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It is hosted and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation.  The survey remains open until September 15th.

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED


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Climate Change Accord launched

posted on August 6, 2015
Launch of the Climate Change Accord at the CLA Game Fair

Launch of the Climate Change Accord at the CLA Game Fair, Harewood House, 2015. Left to right: Shireen Chambers (ICF), Simon Lloyd (RFS), Mike Seville (CLA), Justin Mumford (Lockhart Garratt), Alistair Boston (DI), Rory Stewart (Defra Minister – forestry), Sir Harry Studholme (Forestry Commission), Charles Beaumount (Trees Please), Guy Corbett-Marshall (Woodland Heritage), Lorraine Hut (Environment Agency), Austin Brady (Woodland Trust). Photo (c) CLA.

Climate Change Accord 2015

Read more about the Climate Change Accord

A Climate Change Accord was launched last Friday at the CLA Game Fair held at Harewood House. The Accord is one of a number of actions underway in a campaign to promote resilient woodlands (read more).

So far 26 organisations have been added as signatories to the Climate Change Accord: a Call for Resilient Forests, Woods and Trees. These include: Climate Ready, Confederation of Forest Industries, Country Land and Business Association, Cumbria Woodlands, Deer Initiative, Forest Enterprise England, Forest Research, Forestry Commission England, Future Trees Trust, Grown in Britain, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Lockhart-Garratt, Mersey Forest, National Forest Company, Natural England, Oakover Nurseries, Oxford Biodiversity Institute, Royal Forestry Society, Small Woods, Sylva Foundation, Timber Strategies, Trees Please Nursery, Tubex, UPM, Woodland Heritage, Woodland Trust.

“We believe that it is necessary to act now to provide a secure future for our forests, woods and trees, that significant changes are required to widely-accepted and practiced systems of management to make them resilient, and we are committed to help realise the vision set out in this Accord.”

Alongside the launch of the Accord we are co-ordinating a new national survey (under the British Woodlands Survey series) aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals. If you represent any of these we are very keen to give you a voice and to listen to your views. Please take part in the British Woodlands Survey 2015

 

 


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What do you think about environmental change, and what are you doing about it?

posted on July 31, 2015

A national survey is launched today aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals.

A Wordle from the 2015 Resilience Accord

A Wordle from the text of the 2015 Resilience Accord

Environmental change may mean any change or disturbance of the environment caused by human influences and/or natural ecological processes. As such the survey will be exploring climate change, pests, pathogens, flooding, wind and fire, and will be seeking to explore how resilient our forests are to change. The information gathered will be used by organisations, policy makers and researchers to help improve the resilience of the nation’s forests. The results will inform the government’s National Adaptation Programme.

The survey is part of a wider suite of activities related to resilience including the drafting of an Accord, which is a call from across the forestry sector for action to be taken to ensure our trees, woods and forests are more resilient. Organisations with an interest in trees, forestry and landowners have also produced ‘Adaptation in Action’ statements, to explain their individual views on issues and the actions they are taking to improve resilience.

The British Woodlands Survey 2015 on Resilience is supported by a very wide number of partners, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It is hosted and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation.

British Woodlands Survey 2015

Read more and Take the Survey

Take the survey and read more about the resilience activities at www.sylva.org.uk/bws. The survey remains open until end of August.

 


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Resilient Woodlands Campaign

posted on July 17, 2015

A much-needed campaign to raise awareness about the importance of resilience in our woodlands is shortly to get underway.

Work behind the scenes for more than one year has seen organisations and experts from across the forestry and tree sector coming together to work on a range of activities. The degree and method of collaboration has been unprecedented. Sylva’s team have been centrally involved in helping the process advance and in fostering collaboration. Our CEO has acted as editor-in-chief for the drafting of an Accord (see below) and thanks to funding from Forestry Commission England and the Woodland Trust, we are repeating the British Woodlands Survey, this time on the theme of Resilience (see below).

resilient woodlands campaign

The first outcomes will be launched publicly at the CLA Game Fair on July 31st.  The main outcomes of the Resilient Woodlands Campaign will be:

  1. An Accord detailing common agreement among a very wide partnership of organisations that environmental change is impacting our woodlands, and that fundamental changes in actions are necessary.
  2. A series of Adaptation in Action statements from a large number of organisations outlining their specific stance, activities and intended outcomes.
  3. A national survey on Resilience, under the British Woodland Survey series to launch 31st July – Now Live (click here). We encourage all woodland owners, agents, tree nursery businesses and tree professionals to take part.
    Read more about the British Woodlands Survey 2015
  4. Conference on Resilience organised jointly by the Woodland Trust and Royal Forestry Society on October 1st.
    Read more

The British Woodlands Survey will be national in perspective. Although the brand name of the survey series run by the Sylva Foundation uses the term ‘British’,  we hope to attract responses from across the United Kingdom.

Some elements of the campaign have an English focus due to funding bodies involved and policy fit. Outcomes of the campaign will feed directly into the National Adaptation Programme, overseen by Defra and supported by Climate Ready (Environment Agency).


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Resilient woodlands: meeting the challenge

posted on June 11, 2015

An important conference will take place on October 1st concerning the challenges facing our woodlands from environmental change. Organised jointly by the Royal Forestry Society and the Woodland Trust,  we are pleased to have been invited to contribute. Sylva Foundation CEO Dr Gabriel Hemery will present early findings from the latest of our British Woodlands Surveys — to launch this summer on the theme of resilience (read more) — and discuss these in the context of practical action that woodland owners can take.


October 1st 2015

The RFS and The Woodland Trust present: 

Resilient Woodlands: meeting the challenges

resilience - are you meeting the challenges

Resilience – are you meeting the challenges? A poster produced by Sylva in 2014

Everybody’s talking about the challenges, but what should you be doing?

Join a top line up of speakers at the National Motorcyle Museum , Birmingham, to address these three key questions:

  • What are the key challenges for woods and woodland owners in the 21st century?
  • How can we make woods and wooded landscapes both ecologically and financially resilient?
  • What does this mean in terms of policy and practice?

The event brings together a unique line up of experts to discuss the questions which impact on all woodland owners and managers, and on everyone who loves or is involved in woodlands – what should we all be doing to ensure our woodlands are resilient to the threats from environmental change?

Full details of the conference, the speakers and how to book go to www.rfs.org.uk 

The conference counts towards CPD for a number of organisations, and  places are limited, so book early!

RFS President Sophie Churchill and The Woodland Trust CEO, Beccy Speight will be chairing the day.

Speakers are: Resilient Landscapes – Mike Townsend, Woodland Trust; Ecological Resilience in Woodlands –  Duncan Stone, Scottish Natural Heritage; Making Woodlands Pay – Graham Taylor, Pryor and Rickett Silviculture; Resilience: a research perspective – Professor Rob MacKenzie , BIFoR; Forest Resilience and Climate Change – Jonathan Spencer, Forestry Commission; Resilience in Living Landscapes – Stephen Trotter, the Wildlife Trusts; Natural Capital – Professor  Dieter Helm, Chairman of Natural Capital Committee (by video); Marketing your Woodland: innovations in wood product markets – Jez Ralph, Timber Strategies; Are pine martens the answer to grey squirrel control? – Dr Tom Tew, Chief Executive Environment Bank and Chairman of Vincent Wildlife Trust; A Practical Guide to taking Action on Resilience – Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation.


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Last chance to participate in British Woodlands Survey 2014

posted on October 13, 2014
British Woodlands Survey 2014

British Woodlands Survey 2014

Participation in the British Woodlands Survey 2014 so far has been excellent – some 520 people have taken part in Welsh and English. Between them, they own or manage almost 56 thousand hectares (3% of privately owned woodland in the UK). The focus of this year’s survey is on Ancient Woodland and Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), and we are particularly encouraged that respondents own or manage over 14 thousand hectares of these areas, which is almost certainly over 5% of the total.

This represent an encouraging response, yet we would welcome even more responses from woodland owners who may be less certain that they own ancient woodland or those for whom engaging in any management activities in their woodland is difficult. Responses to date have indicated a very high level of knowledge about ancient woodlands and PAWS (though, interestingly, perhaps somewhat lower levels of certainty about identifying these types of woodland), but more information will help enrich these findings considerably.

As one respondent remarked

“We don’t own any PAWS . . . however that doesn’t mean we don’t think it is important . . .”

And in terms of helping shape future advice , another respondent remarked:

“We are a charity with not much knowledge of how to manage our woodland and not a great deal of time to commit. Any partner work, information and advice would be much appreciated!”

 There is one more week left to participate – please do spare 15 minutes if you can to add your insights.

Click here to take the survey


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British Woodlands Survey 2014 launched

posted on September 3, 2014
British Woodlands Survey 2014 - find out more and take part

British Woodlands Survey 2014 – find out more and take part

The latest British Woodlands Survey (BWS2014) has launched today and we welcome input from woodland owners and managers.

BWS2014 focusses on ancient woodland, planted ancient woodland sites (PAWS). Following on from BWS2012, this latest survey is exploring current management practices and attitudes towards ancient woodland. The project, jointly co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation and the Woodland Trust, with funding support from Heritage Lottery, is part of a broader project on Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) and ancient woodland.

The survey, available in Welsh and English, is not limited to owners who know they have PAWS or ancient woodland but is open to all woodland owners and managers who have an interest in woodland management.

If you took part in BWS2012, and asked to be kept in touch with future national surveys we will be sending you an email asking you to participate again. The survey is much shorter than BWS2012 and builds on some of the information we received then. We were delighted with the huge survey response in 2012 (1600 respondents) and we hope to match that again in 2014 so that we collect the views of as wide a cross-section of owners and managers as possible – voices that are perhaps often missing in policy discussions in our sector.

We do hope that you will join – or rejoin – and take part !


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British Woodlands Survey 2012 – full report published

posted on October 17, 2013
British Woodlands Survey 2012 - download report from the RICS website

British Woodlands Survey 2012 – download report from the RICS website

The full report of the 2012 British Woodlands Survey has been published. Part-funded and published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), it is available for free download on their website.

http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/research/research-reports/british-woodlands-2012/

Nicholls, D, M Young, G Hemery, G Petrokofsky, and A Yeomans. British Woodlands 2012: a National Survey of Woodland Owners. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, August 2013.

Read more about the British Woodlands Survey 2012


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