Calling woodland owners – help wanted in ash dieback research

posted on March 13, 2014

Sylva Scholar Louise Hill – who is studying the consequences of Chalara ash dieback in British woodlands (read more) – is looking for woodland sites in the south of Britain where she could set up her experiments. If you are a woodland owner, perhaps you could help her?

Louise Hill, Sylva Scholar

Louise Hill, Sylva Scholar

Louise explains:

I am looking for areas of deciduous woods, with ash mixed in to it ideally at a density of around 300 stems/ha (i.e., not an ash monoculture). Within each site I want to set up at least one (ideally two or three) blocks of plots; each block will contain three plots of 25 x 25m, one of which will have 100% of the ash ring-barked, one 50% and on 0% (control). The experiment will look into the effects of loss of ash trees on growth rates of the remaining trees, recruitment of seedlings of other species (ash seedlings will be removed), and also effects on the ground flora. It will also look into any interactions with deer abundance for these effects. I am looking for sites in Oxfordshire, Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

If you have a suitable site, and are prepared to have some ash trees sacrificed in this way, please contact Louise directly to discuss further. She can be reached at

Read more about the Sylva Scholarship



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Help us secure the Sylva scholarship

posted on March 29, 2013
Read more about our Sylva Scholarship campaign

Read more about our Sylva Scholarship campaign

Sylva supports cutting-edge forest science in a partnership with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford by offering a scholarship to DPhil students. We are seeking donors to help us secure our next scholar and, additionally, to help us raise an endowment fund to secure the scholarship in perpetuity.

Our first scholar Kirsty Monk is due to complete her research later this year, investigating the role of cord-forming fungi in woodland (read more). Meanwhile, an excellent candidate has been identified to follow in Kirty’s footsteps in Autumn 2013, having a double 1st undergraduate degree from Oxford and a MSc from the University of East Anglia. The proposed research programme will focus on the ecosystem consequences of ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) in British woodlands.

To secure our next scholar we need to add to our current funds by raising an additional £5,000 for each of the next three years. At the same time the University of Oxford is keen to support the creation of more fully-endowed scholarships. They offer currently a 40 percent match-fund with a view to securing a total fund of £500,000 that will secure a scholarship in perpetuity. This is an unrivaled opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. If you are interested in learning more about the scholarship programme and how you could support it, please contact our Chief Executive Dr Gabriel Hemery or visit our online fundraising page with the Big Give.

The theme of the scholarship is healthy trees and productive forests. This reflects a joint vision between the Sylva Foundation and University of Oxford Department of Plant Sciences to foster a robust tree and forest resource in the light of projected environmental change.   Read more about the Sylva Scholarship

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