GIS course – management planning using myForest

posted on February 2, 2018

The Royal Forestry Society has announced further courses in its excellent line up for woodland owners, managers and others, including a GIS course using Sylva Foundation’s myForest.

Friday, 19 October 2018

myForest service

myForest service

myForest is a free to use online web tool ( designed to help woodland owners and managers produce management plans. The system allows users to map their woodlands, add information (including inventory and work programme) and produce management plans using Forestry Commission England’s template.

Course leader Paul Orsi (Director for Forestry at Sylva Foundation) will take participants through the whole management planning process, from a woodland survey through to producing management plans which can be approved by a Forestry Commission Woodland Officer. Participants will learn how to create a myForest account, map a woodland area, add attribute data, and generate a management plan and associated maps. We will look at what is required from a good management plan and how myForest can help you with this.

This course is aimed at owners of small woodlands who are keen to learn how to create their own management plan.

For more information on the course and how to book, click here


Comments (5)

Argyll Small Woods Coop – woodland planning workshop

posted on October 16, 2017

The Argyll Small Woods Cooperative and the Croft Woodland Project are hosting a woodland planning workshop on Tuesday 24th October.

Argyll Small Woods Cooperative

Argyll Small Woods Cooperative

The workshop will take participants through the woodland planning process and introduce them to the practicalities of measuring trees and creating a woodland inventory. Participants will also learn how to use myForest to develop a plan for their woodlands as well as how myForest is helping the co-operative to query woodland information across its members, allowing them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.

The event is being led by Paul Orsi, Director for Forestry at Sylva Foundation, and Iain Catterwell, a forestry consultant based in Argyll.

Email to book your place or to find out more.

Details: Culfail Hotel, Kilmelford, 11am – 4pm.

This is a free event supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Woodland Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Comments (0)

myForest supports social enterprises

posted on August 15, 2017

The myForest team have recently joined forces with the team from the Making Local Woods Work, a partnership which helps support and grow woodland social enterprises. We have added a new category to the myForest Directory that allows businesses to highlight their social missions and for myForest users to search for social enterprise businesses.

We hope that many new social enterprises will join the 750 businesses already registered on the myForest Directory.

If you are a social enterprise business that has already registered on the myForest Directory simply login and update your listing to highlight your social mission.

myForest directory screen shot

myForest directory screen shot

Comments (0)

Amazing response to our Christmas appeal

posted on December 2, 2016

We’ve been stunned by the generosity of so many individuals who have donated to our Christmas appeal over the last four days.

myForest development Christmas appeal

myForest development Christmas appeal

As I write (8am today) we’ve been donated £2,150 which, thanks to the Big Give and support from the Dulverton Trust, will be matched; meaning we’ve raised £4,300 in total. This sum will make a very significant contribution towards our development of Sylva’s myForest. Currently 60,000 hectares of private woodland across the UK is mapped and managed with the help of the myForest service. Thanks to these donations it means our aim to support the management of 228,000ha (10% of UK privately-owned woodland area) by 2021 is more attainable.

It’s not too late if you wish to donate to our Christmas appeal. The deadline is just hours away – 12 noon today. To donate visit our appeal page on the Big Give.

Our sincere thanks to all those who have donated.

Gabriel Hemery, Chief Executive

Comments (0)

myForest Development Christmas Appeal

posted on November 29, 2016

Help us help Britain’s woodland by supporting our myForest development project. Thanks to the support of the Dulverton Trust, any donation made via the Big Give between 29th November – 2nd December will be doubled! You can read more about the Appeal on the Big Give website or go straight to the donate page.

myForest development Christmas appeal with the Big Give

myForest development Christmas appeal with the Big Give

Healthy woodland improves the environment. It cleans our air, supports wildlife, creates fertile soil, helps relieve flooding and provides space for learning, employment and relaxation.

The myForest planning tool was developed as a free, online resource for woodland owners, managers and agents to help and encourage them to map and plan to manage their woodland sustainably. myForest is used currently by more than 4,700 owners nationwide to map and manage almost 60,000ha of woodlands across Britain. Next year we want to develop new tools to make myForest even more effective and encourage more owners to use it.

Thank you for your support.


Comments (0)

Woodland owners – have your say in the 2017 Charter

posted on September 7, 2016

Woodland owners and custodians across Britain are being asked to take part in a unique consultation in support of the 2017 Charter for trees, woods and people.

Charter for Trees, Woods and People

Charter for Trees, Woods and People

More than 50 organisations, co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust, are leading UK society in a call for a charter that will ensure that people and trees can stand stronger together in the future. This charter, strengthened by support from all corners of society, will provide guidelines and principles for policy, decision-makers, businesses, communities and individuals.

Sylva Foundation is pleased to be hosting a consultation that will enable woodland owners and custodians across the UK to help define the 2017 Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

The consultation is the only activity specifically aimed at ensuring the views of woodland owners or custodians are reflected in the charter. More than two-thirds of woodlands are held in private hands, so it is vital that the voices of woodland owners/custodians are captured. If you are a woodland owner or custodian, or represent a woodland owner, we would like to record your hopes and fears for the future of your woodland, to ensure that the charter speaks for you, and supports you in your vital role as custodian of the nation’s woodland heritage.

The consultation questions should take only five minutes to complete, or longer if you wish to share more stories. The name of your woodland will be officially recorded in the 2017 Charter for trees, woods and people.

To take part visit:

Sylva Foundation CEO Gabriel Hemery has written a blog post for the Charter website: read it here


Comments (1)

myForest collaborative management piloted in Argyll

posted on June 6, 2016

In February Sylva’s Director for Forestry, Paul Orsi, visited Argyll to find out how the myForest service could help an innovative group of woodlands owners (read more).  Since then both Sylva Foundation and the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative have been working hard to develop and test a new collaborative tool.

The co-operative have been collecting and inputting data on behalf of members, as well as encouraging other owners to start to use the myForest service.  Understanding and documenting the forest resource has been a vital first step to collaboration. The tool, once fully developed and tested, will allow the co-operative to query woodland information across its members and therefore allow them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.

myForest client import screen

myForest client import screen

The new Query Tool provides a simple suite of filters, searches and report outputs based on a range of data including species, age and size, or presence of a Felling Licence application.

myForest query tool screen

myForest query tool screen

The Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative will continue to pilot this functionality on myForest over the next nine months with the plan for it to be released to other groups soon after.

If you run a similar co-operative, or would like to, please get in touch with Paul Orsi so that we can discuss how myForest could support you in future.

If you would like to join the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative please contact Neil Donaldson at:

Our thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland for funding this innovative project.



Comments (0)

myForest for Education workshop at the National Forest

posted on April 28, 2016

The National Forest was humming with discussions about woodland management and forest education at the latest myForest for Education training workshop.

The workshop was held at Martinshaw Wood near Leicester, owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. Twelve Forest School Leaders, trainers and those interested in forest education and community-managed woodlands attended the half-day training event. Nottingham and Leicester Forest Education Network, the National Forest and the Sylva Foundation worked in partnership to:

  • introduce participants to basic principles of woodland management;
  • survey an area of woodland with the aim of creating a woodland management plan using myForest for Education;
  • provide opportunities for networking, sharing information and contacts to other forestry organisations.

Chris Williams, Woodland Trust Manager, led a walk through the woods to explain the management of this planted ancient woodland site. Simon Greenhouse, National Forest,  showed the group newly-planted areas adjacent to Martinshaw wood and explained how local communities, schools and sponsors are involved in the woodland creation and management.  The site visit ended at Groby Community College in an area of woodland well-used for education activities. Jen Hurst, Sylva Foundation Education Manager, showed the group how to map and survey the site including an assessment of ecological impacts on the woodland. Back in the workshop room the results of the survey were transferred to Sylva’s free online system myForest for Education to create management plans.

Jen Hurst at the myForest for Education workshop

Jen Hurst presenting at the myForest for Education workshop

myForest for Education workshop

Delegates at the National Forest myForest for Education workshop

One workshop participant said:

“it’s so valuable meeting other Forest School Leaders, woodland owners and organisations who manage woodland sites for education”.

Another — a newly-trained Forest School Leader — implored:

“I just want more of this kind of training!”.

With generous support from the Patsy Wood Trust until 2018, myForest for Education training workshops will continue to be provided free to any groups, networks or conferences.

Please contact Jen Hurst for further information about the workshops:

Read more about myForest for Education



Comments (1)

myForest supports the Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative

posted on February 26, 2016

Recently our Director for Forestry, Paul Orsi,  visited Argyll to find out how the myForest service will be helping an innovative group of woodlands owners.

Paul Orsi discussing ideas with the Argyll Small Woodland Co-operative

Paul Orsi discussing ideas with the Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative

Whilst many of the large conifer forests in the area are being managed as part of a crop rotation there are many smaller woodlands, often part of mixed farms and estates, which are not being managed because costs can be prohibitive. The Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative (ASWC) are looking to pool the combined resources of these small woodlands to make it economically viable to get these woods into active management.

Pooling of resources can only start once there is good knowledge about the resource itself. Neil Donaldson Secretary of the ASWC contacted Sylva in Spring 2015 to see if myForest could help them to collate information across land ownerships. The existing myForest service worked in a way that allows individual owners to map, store information and create a management plan for their woodlands, so we were keen to explore how we could add more functionality to the web service to support co-operation between owners.

The existing Agent account allows managers with multiple clients to store individual client accounts but not pool that information. Thanks to the relationship built up with Neil Donaldson and ASWC, we are now developing a tool that
will allow the ASWC to query woodland information across members of the co-operative and therefore allow them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.

ASWC will pilot this functionality on myForest over the next year with the plan for it to be released to other groups soon after. If you run a similar co-operative, or would like to, please get in touch so that we can start discussing how we could support you in future. Watch out on our blog and newsletters as we follow this fascinating story over the next year.

Our thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland for funding this innovative project.


Comments (1)

Woodland area supported by myForest tops 40000 hectares

posted on December 10, 2015
myForest tops 40000ha

myForest tops 40000ha

A small cheer was heard in our forestry team this week when the area of woodland across the UK supported by our myForest service topped 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres).

Since the launch of the dedicated services for woodland owners and agents in Scotland we’ve seen encouraging growth in this nation. The number of woodland owners now using the service is just short of 3,500.

Live myForest stats are available to view at any time


Category: myForest

Comments (0)
Older Posts »