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.


OneOak film released

posted on May 28, 2010
OneOak DVD

OneOak DVD

Our 30 minute OneOak film, which follows the tree at the felling in January to the sawmill in March 2010, is now available.

It was filmed by a fantastic crew of volunteers (Charlie Beesley, Chris Baines, Bryn Walls, Sarah Simblet), generously supported by the University of Oxford’s Media Production Unit.  It was edited by Conrad Weiskrantz.

It is available to view on our film page.  We are also making available DVD copies that we are selling for a modest £5 at the various shows at which we are exhibiting this year.

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OneOak exhibition at Art, Design and a Taste of Summer: 29-31 May

posted on May 23, 2010
The new Sylva display centrepiece

The new Sylva display centrepiece

An exhibition on the OneOak project will be held this weekend, 29-31 May 2010, at the Art, Design and a Taste of Summer show at Blenheim Palace.

We will be showing some of the films we have had made about the project and will have staff from Sylva on hand to talk about the project and our wider work.  We will be joined by OneOak residential artists Sarah Simblet and Rebecca Hind, and by wood carvers from the Oxon & Bucks division of the British Woodcarvers Association.

We will also be launching our fantastic and unusual competition to guess the weight of the OneOak tree.  A raffle will be held with some great prizes.

To find out more about the show see Art, Design and a Taste of Summer.

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Guess the tree weight competition – win great prizes

posted on May 13, 2010
Weighing the OneOak tree

Enter our free competition and you have a chance to win some super prizes.  Simply try to guess the weight of the OneOak tree.

For perhaps the first time ever in science, an entire mature oak tree has been weighed; from the massive main trunk down to the smallest twigs at the tips of the branches.  Scientists from Forest Research have now completed their calculations on the OneOak tree and we now know the entire weight of the tree … but we are not telling you – at least not yet!

Prizes include beautiful wooden hand crafted items, made from the wood of the OneOak tree by leading traditional woodworker Martin Damen.  Winners will also receive a Year’s Subscription to Living Woods magazine.

What do you think the OneOak tree weighed?

Read more and Enter the competition

skechers irvine

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OneOak talk for ArtWeek on Saturday 15th May

posted on May 10, 2010

SYLVA CEO Gabriel Hemery is talking about the OneOak project on Saturday 15th May at 11am, at Philip Koomen’s workshop at Checkendon as part of Oxfordshire ArtWeek.

In his talk entitled The story of the One Oak, Gabriel will explain the inspirations behind the project and highlight stories that have emerged during its dramatic first year.  Some of the OneOak residential artists will also be present, along with a chance for viewers to see some of Philip Koomen’s stunning furniture designs.

If you are interested in finding out more or attending (please note that booking is essential): call 01491 681122 or visit http://www.artweeks.org/exhibitors/artist_details/?backto=map&artist_id=295

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Going with the grain

posted on May 8, 2010

Furniture designer and maker Philip Koomen is featured in the Oxford Times Oxfordshire Limited Edition magazine in the May issue.  Philip is one of our main advisors in the OneOak project.

The article celebrates Philip’s work and promotes his forthcoming Arts Week Exhibition at his workshops in Checkendon.  Our CEO Gabriel Hemery will be giving a talk at the exhibition on Saturday May 15th at 1100: The story of the OneOak.

If you are interested in finding out more or attending (booking is essential):

call 01491 681122 or visit www.philipkoomen.co.uk

Going with the grain. Oxfordshire Limited Edition, May 2010, pp. 38-41.

Category: OneOak project, Wood

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Oak is down but not out

posted on April 23, 2010

Peter Barrington says the felling on an oak has helped understanding of trees and woodland management.

Oxford Times, Weekend, pp. 26-27, Thursday, April 22nd 2010

Read online

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OneOak project on Country Channel TV

posted on March 30, 2010

A twenty minute film about the OneOak project has been made by Country Channel TV.  It is now being broadcast on their internet TV website.

To watch the film online click on the logo below.

OneOak on Country Channel TV

OneOak on Country Channel TV

The 20 minute programme will also be shown on Sky channel 171 on the following dates:

  • Thursday 8th April at 19:30
  • Friday 9th at 07:30
  • Friday 9th at 12:30
  • Sunday 11th at 13:30
  • Further repeats will be shown during May.

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OneOak launch and felling in pictures

posted on February 9, 2010

We have published a slideshow of pictures showing the drama of the OneOak felling and launch on YouTube.

Category: Art, OneOak project

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The OneOak tree was felled today

posted on January 20, 2010

Today the OneOak tree was felled and the OneOak project launched publicly.

Some of the OneOak guests after the felling

Some of the OneOak guests after the felling

Over 400 people braved the snow and sleet to walk into the wood on the Blenheim Estate.  Two hundred and fifty primary school children displayed work that they had been doing on the project for other guests to see. Hot chocolate, brewed on an open fire, warmed cold fingers.  Demonstrators showed guests how oak is cleaved to make roofing shingles, how charcoal is made, and how green wood is turned.  The first product from the tree, firewood logs, was made by a local firewood merchant.  Researchers from Forest Research decended on the felled tree to start weighing every branch and twig.

These and many more were just some of the highlights of the day.  The felling of the OneOak tree was dramatic and touched every one watching in different ways.

We owe a huge thank you to everyone who supported us on the day, and to those who will continue to work with us in the project.  Please come back here soon to see photos and video taken at the event today, to find out the results of the research, and to see how many beautiful things we can make from the OneOak tree.

Category: News, OneOak project

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Penultimate day before the OneOak public launch

posted on January 19, 2010

Today was probably the busiest day so far at the woodland on the Blenheim Estate where the OneOak has been growing for the last 160 years.  Tomorrow will be even busier when the OneOak tree will be felled in front of 400 guests, including 250 primary school children and many of the future users of the tree’s wood.

Today, Forest Research got to work weighing some of the first branches to be removed from the tree.  Demonstrators for tomorrow’s launch arrived to set up their tools and machinery, including a firewood processor and an oak cleaver. They will be amongst the first users to produce OneOak products.

BBC Oxford came to the site to interview some people involved in the project.  The recordings will appear on BBC TV and Radio tomorrow.  We expect other media to be present tomorrow to record the event.

The Oxfordshire Forest School Service have met together with the Blenheim Palace education team to plan the various educational activities for the 250 children attending.

Tomorrow will be a busy day!

Category: News, OneOak project

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