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A future forest in the making

posted on June 5, 2017

Seen from the offices of Sylva Foundation, we’ve had a privileged view of the making of the new Future Forest (if not a little work in making it all happen!). Over the span of seven months we’ve taken a photograph most days looking south across the field. We’ve added all these together to make a two-minute timelapse which features the last arable crop being harvested, the arrival of archaeologists, surveying the ground and marking it out, planting with our new Forest Friends, and finally the emergence of a stunning display of wildflowers.

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Forest Friends tree planting bonanza

posted on March 3, 2017

Last weekend we welcomed more than 50 families and hundreds of people to the Future Forest to plant trees in their sponsored plots.

The Forest Friends scheme has attracted support from far and wide, and it has been a privilege to meet all our new supporters and to hear their stories for why they chose to sponsor a plot in the Future Forest.

Following the busy weekend we welcomed a team of conservation volunteers from South & Vale District Councils who helped plant a large number of trees around the outside of the forest and along ride edges.

There are just 37 plots (each holding 25 trees) left to sponsor in the dynamic new Sylva Future Forest. Final planting session for Future Forest Friends will be on Saturday 11th March (or we can plant your plot for you). Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this wonderful project – become a Future Forest Friend today at www.sylva.org.uk/forestfriend

Read more new about the Future Forest

 

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Grown in Britain sponsors a grove in the Future Forest

posted on February 17, 2017

Grown in Britain (GIB) have generously supported the Sylva Future Forest by sponsoring a cluster of plots now known as the Grown in Britain grove.

GIB planting team

GIB planting team. Left to right John Weir (Forestry Commission England), Laura Sceal (GIB), Judith Millidge (Small Woodland Owners’ Group), Helen Bentley-Fox (GIB), Dougal Driver (GIB). Tom Barnes (Vastern Timber), Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation), William Jackson (Certainly Wood), and Jen Hurst (Sylva Foundation). Behind the camera, Matt Larsen Daw (Woodland Trust).

Last Friday a team assembled by GIB got to work planting a wide selection of trees from our pallet of 40 species. In between the tree planting they enjoyed hot drinks, soup, tea cakes and marshmallows on the open fire, naturally burning GIB firewood (kindly provided by Certainly Wood). In fact they enjoyed planting so much that Tom Barnes (MD of Vastern Timber) generously sponsored an additional two plots (50 trees), which were planted after lunch.

Matt Larsen Daw, project lead for the Charter for Trees Woods and People helped ‘Show the Love’ for trees (see photo above). The Future Forest has been part-sponsored by the Woodland Trust and it is fitting that its creation is taking place during the year of the Tree Charter.


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Businesses back the Future Forest

posted on February 9, 2017
Forest Holidays planting team Feb2017

Forest Holidays planting team Feb2017

This week we’ve welcomed more business Forest Friends to plant their trees and learn more about the work of Sylva Foundation. We’re looking forward to meeting several more over the coming weeks. If you are looking for an usual team building event for staff and a lasting legacy in sponsoring a plot of 25 trees in the name of your business, we have a few opportunities left. If you’re interested we recommend you don’t delay, but read more about our Earth, Wind & Fire event.

Our thanks to Forest Holidays and Woodworking Masterclasses for their fantastic support (and tree planting efforts!).

A business sponsor helps plant another tree. Photo Rokesmith.

A business sponsor helps plant another tree. Photo Rokesmith.

 

Woodworking Masterclass Planting Team, February 2017

Woodworking Masterclasses Planting Team, February 2017


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Forest Friends get stuck in

posted on January 30, 2017

This weekend we welcomed more than 30 of our new Forest Friends to help plant their sponsored plots. Over 900 trees were planted with some 40 different tree species.

Despite some light rain on the Sunday and muddy conditions, spirits remained undeterred. The wonderful Education shelter designed by Julian Angus helped considerably, as did toasted marshmallows and hot drinks served round the fire. It was heartening to hear the stories from our new Friends; whether celebrating a new life or remembering a loved one, or sharing in the simple passion of planting trees for the good of us all.

Nine hundred down but 6,400 trees still to plant! Over the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming more planting help, including hundreds of local primary school children, and some of our business sponsors. If you’re an individual interested in sponsoring one of the few remaining plots for your family or loved one, or interested in business sponsorship, then don’t delay! The final public planting weekend is scheduled for 25th and 26th February.

We hope you enjoy a few of the many photos capturing the creation of the Future Forest. If you’ve already planted your trees then do share any of your photos in our Facebook album.

Read more about the Forest Friends scheme


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Hundreds of young people to help plant the Future Forest

posted on January 20, 2017
Sylva's Tree Team Educators Jen Hurst and Pieternel Overweel teach the Sylva Plant a Tree! song to Robins Reception class at St Francis Church of England Primary School.

Sylva’s Tree Team Educators Jen Hurst and Pieternel Overweel teach the Sylva Plant a Tree! song to Robins Reception class at St Francis Church of England Primary School.

We have welcomed in the New Year in the best way possible: inviting hundreds of young people to plant trees in the Future Forest.

Sylva’s staff, Education Manager Jen Hurst and volunteer Pieternel Overweel, have been working closely with 20 primary school classes (500 children) thanks to funding from Tesco Bags of Help and the Ernest Cook Trust.

Sylva Tree Team

Sylva Tree Team

During January we have been visiting the schools to talk about trees, forestry and tree planting. All the children will be visiting the site of the Future Forest to plant their trees during February. These young students are excited to be joining the Sylva Tree Team.

 

School students planting the Future Forest

School students planting the Future Forest

In addition to preparing the primary schools we’ve been welcoming secondary school students and special needs groups, thanks to collaboration with Earth Trust who have long-established links with local schools.

The 600+ children helping us plant the new woodland will be a long way forward in a journey learning about and taking responsibility for the environment, after all:

“All human beings should plant one tree for every year that they live on Earth.”
Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet, The New Sylva (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014)

 

 


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First tree planted in the Future Forest

posted on December 9, 2016
Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree, a Wild Pear, in the Future Forest

This week Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight visited Sylva Foundation to discuss the various collaborative projects running with Sylva Foundation. After discussions with CEO Gabriel Hemery concluded the pair planted the first tree in the Sylva Future Forest; a wild pear! We’re very grateful to various funders for supporting the creation of this new woodland at the Sylva Wood Centre, among them the Woodland Trust.

The main area of the Future Forest will be planted with our Forest Friends in the New Year. It will contain some 40 species, including locally-sourced native trees, native trees with ‘exotic genetics’ (i.e. matched to projected climate), and exotic species from around the world. Read more about the Future Forest.

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest

Beccy Speight and Gabriel Hemery plant the first tree in the Future Forest


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Stepping into the Future Forest

posted on November 12, 2016

Regular supporters will be aware we are planting the Future Forest at the Sylva Wood Centre this winter. Our CEO Gabriel Hemery visited the planting site recently with lifestyle woodworker Paul Sellers to talk about the vision for the Future Forest and how people can get involved.

Future Forest Promotion with thanks to Woodworking Masterclasses on Vimeo.

Paul Sellers said:

“It’s very humbling really to think we’re planting a playground for children and a place for them to see it grow and be a part of their lives.”

Find out how you could support the Future Forest and perhaps give a unique gift this Christmas: read more.

Our thanks to Paul Sellers and team for their generous support

 

 


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Trees are for life not just for Christmas!

posted on November 9, 2016
Future Forest Friends leaf-keys

Future Forest Friends leaf-keys

Why not give a completely unique gift this Christmas – a woodland plot in the name of  your family or friends.

An exclusive winter planting day, a green space for summer walks, woodland picnics for years to come and involvement in an environmental project that helps explore what a sustainable woodland could look like in future – that’s a really special gift to put under the Christmas tree this year.  Plots in the unique, new ‘Future Forest’ being planted by environmental charity Sylva Foundation make the perfect Christmas gift for eco-conscious friends or family who love trees or wood, enjoy getting outdoors or simply have enough ‘stuff’ already.

Give this gift to one person or a family and the new Future Forest Friends will be able to get their hands on a spade, boots on the ground and, with the help of expert Foresters, chose and plant twenty-five trees at special planting days in January or February 2017.  Aside from creating their own stake in the future, Forest Friends will be able to follow the development of a unique ‘demonstration’ woodland that’s helping discover which tree species can withstand climate change. Each Future Forest Friend will receive a certificate, annual updates as the forest grows and their own hand-carved ‘leaf-key’ to their plot, designed and made by wood-carver Simon Clements.

The Sylva Future Forest of 7,500 trees will be planted on former farmland at the Sylva Wood Centre in Long Wittenham, Oxfordshire in winter 2016/17.  There are about 300 plots of 25 trees each which are available for individuals or businesses to sponsor. Gift sponsorship can be done monthly at £5/month for three years or a one-off payment of £180.

Read more and buy this unique gift


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Local school children gear up for the Future Forest

posted on October 5, 2016
Willowcroft children at the Future Forest September 2016

Children from Willowcroft Community School at the Future Forest, September 2016

Tesco Bags of Help grant supports the Future Forest

Tesco Bags of Help grant supports the Future Forest

We announced two weeks ago the fabulous news that we will receive a grant from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme – read more. Voting by members of the public in Tesco stores near us in south Oxfordshire could help us attract even more funding and help us support more work with young children from local schools. Voting opens 31st October to 13th November.

This week the local paper visited to cover the story and we were lucky to have the support of children from one of the primary schools taking part in planting the Future Forest. Seven children from Willowcroft Community School came to see the bare arable field, where they will return after Christmas and help plant 7,500 trees.


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