posted on October 12, 2021
In September, Sylva Foundation hosted a Summer School for young creative people to promote design and craft using home-grown timber. The inspiring report from the workshop is published today to coincide with Grown in Britain week.
Sylva Foundation cares passionately about trees and people, and at its Wood School in south Oxfordshire it has set out to nurture a wood culture, enhancing the potential of a home-grown timber supply while promoting the benefits of managing woodlands for people and nature. It is promoting excellence in creativity and craft using home-grown timber, and this year’s week-long Summer School was no exception. This inspiring event was the perfect vehicle to educate, collaborate, and innovate.
The concept of the 2021 Summer School was to bring together a group of passionate creative people and provide them with all of the necessary ingredients to explore, design, and create prototypes in the charity’s professional workshops.
Summer School 2021
A series of talks by industry leaders inspired and educated delegates about the potential of under-utilised home-grown timber, providing context for the fast-paced design-and-make experience which followed. The delegates were then encouraged and fostered a ‘thinking through making’ approach, supported by a brilliant team of tutors.
The added dimension of the group was that all identified as women or non-binary, creating a community of makers that went against the grain of most furniture craft courses, and indeed the wider industry. This led to some supportive conversations about gender and hopefully a group that will continue to support one another into the future.
Head of Wood School Joseph Bray commented:
Everyone involved was blown away by the experience and certainly, everyone involved went home exhausted yet inspired. The results were incredibly impressive and represent the hard work of this remarkable cohort.
Download the report
posted on September 22, 2016
The UK currently consumes more than 0.5M cubic metres of hardwood timber every year but less than 10% of this is grown in the UK. Yet sustainable home-grown timber production could be doubled by 2050, reducing timber imports by 50,000 cubic metres. This would underpin investment in innovation both in the utilisation of our woodlands and their management. These are the dramatic findings of the Grown in Britain WoodStock report published this month.
Some opportunities for UK hardwood
- An increase of 20% in hardwood timber production is achievable in the short-term, reaching 100% increase by 2050.
- For the next 40 years 400,000 cubic meters could be brought to market sustainably, without reducing the overall growing stock in our woodlands.
- If timber specifications are altered, to reduce the specification of oak in favour of other species, and with improvements to infrastructure, then there is significant scope to increase production eight fold over the long term.
- Timber imports could be reduced by approximately 50,000 cubic metres per year.
- A gap in the supply chain was identified, similar to consolidation yards run by timber exporters in other countries, supplying licensed timber direct to wholesalers. Grown in Britain WoodStock could fulfill a role in providing this licensed timber at a competitive price.
- An online timber buying platform could help organise stocks and help with marketing, possibly linking right back to woodland owners who have access to their own processing facilities.
- The research project consortium was led by Grown in Britain and included Sylva Foundation alongside BRE, English Woods Timber, Forestry Commission, Sustainable Construction Solutions, and Wilmott Dixon. Partial funding was provided by Innovate UK.
Read more about the WoodStock project and Grown in Britain
Download the full report