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WoodWords 2018

posted on June 1, 2018

We hosted a fabulous WoodWords 2018 event at the Sylva Wood Centre last week. Thanks to the generosity of the authors, who freely gave their time to support the event, and the one hundred or so ticket purchasers, we raised some very welcome income for the charity.

WoodWords2018 authors. Photo Tuc Ahmad

WoodWords 2018 authors (left to right): Gabriel Hemery, Ruth Pavey, Jon Drori, Fiona Stafford, and Neil Ansell. Photo Tuc Ahmad.

The event took place on 24th May, set among the ongoing Artweeks exhibition so guests were able to tour the workshops and speak with our resident craftspeople during the intervals.

 


About the Authors and their books

Around the World in 80 Trees

Jonathan Drori, a former documentary film maker and executive producer at the BBC, has been a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Woodland Trust. He is on the board of the Eden Project and is an Ambassador for the WWF. Around the World in 80 Trees (Laurence King) celebrates trees as one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. They offer us sanctuary and inspiration and of course the raw materials for our lives. Jon uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human endeavour, from the romantic to the regrettable.

The Long, Long Life of Trees

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford. In 2014 she wrote the text for the Charter of Trees, Woods, and People. Fiona’s book The Long, Long Life of Trees (Yale University Press) is a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings. Each of its 17 chapters is dedicated to a common British tree, drawing on folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each trees’ central place in western civilisation. The book was formerly Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year.

The Last Wilderness

Neil Ansell is a writer and award-winning television journalist. The Last Wilderness: a journey into silence (Tinder Press) explores the experience of being in nature in the context of a series of walks that Neil takes into the most remote parts of Britain. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it. In the book, Neil explores the coastal oakwoods, northern birchwoods and relic pinewoods of Scotland, and as he walks he reflects on his past, including years spent as a forestry worker in Wales and Sweden. As a counterpoint, Neil also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.

A Wood of One’s Own

Ruth Pavey is a gardening journalist and writer based in London. After years spent living amid its urban thrum, Ruth yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, she found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One’s Own (Duckworth) is the story of how Ruth grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife.

Green Gold: the lost journals of John Jeffrey

Gabriel Hemery is co-founder and Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation. His first book The New Sylva (Bloomsbury) was published to wide acclaim in 2014. His latest book Green Gold (Unbound Publishing) is a fictional biographical novel based on a true story. In 1850, young Scottish tree-hunter John Jeffrey is despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic tree species in North America. Three years after setting out, after traversing British Columbia, Oregon and California, John Jeffrey disappears without a trace. Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? The discovery of his missing journals finally reveals the truth behind an extraordinary adventure. www.unbound.com/books/green-gold


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Does life mean you to do a somersault?

posted on May 1, 2018

“Sometimes you have to check,” writes Ruth Pavey in her book, A Wood of One’s Own, “just in case life means you to do a somersault.” Join us at WoodWords 2018 to hear about her own modest upheaval – buying a piece of land at auction on the Somerset Levels with a view to creating a new woodland.

A Wood of One's Own, by Ruth Pavey

A Wood of One’s Own, by Ruth Pavey

‘Pavey’s love for her small patch of land shimmers off the page [in this] narrative of warmth, honesty and great spirit made all the more beautiful by Pavey’s own lively and accomplished drawings… this lovely book is itself a gift encouraging country-dweller and townie alike to marvel at the infinite possibilities at the heart of a single tree’ The Daily Mail, Book of the Week

‘Practical and full of helpful advice which has been artfully baked-in throughout. If someone asks you what you’d like for Christmas or a birthday don’t hesitate to reply, A Wood of One’s OwnWoodlands.co.uk

 

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Ruth Pavey is one of five top environmental authors talking about their books at our unique WoodWords 2018 event.

Tickets limited and selling fast – buy yours now!

24th May: 6.30pm at the Sylva Wood Centre (Ox14 4QT)


Ruth Pavey is a gardening journalist and writer based in London. After years spent living amid its urban thrum, Ruth yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, she found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One’s Own (Duckworth) is the story of how Ruth grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife.


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A journey into silence, alone with nature

posted on April 28, 2018
The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell

The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell

BBC Countryfile described Neil Ansell’ s book, The Last Wilderness, as:

‘A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell’s rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that C.S.Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most comfortable armchair and get away from it all’.

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Neil Ansell is one of five top environmental authors talking about their books at our unique WoodWords 2018 event.

Tickets limited and selling fast – buy yours now!

24th May: 6.30pm at the Sylva Wood Centre (Ox14 4QT)


Neil Ansell is a writer and award-winning television journalist. The Last Wilderness: a journey into silence (Tinder Press) explores the experience of being in nature in the context of a series of walks that Neil takes into the most remote parts of Britain. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it. In the book, Neil explores the coastal oakwoods, northern birchwoods and relic pinewoods of Scotland, and as he walks he reflects on his past, including years spent as a forestry worker in Wales and Sweden. As a counterpoint, Neil also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.


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Trees play a role in every part of human life

posted on April 25, 2018
Around the World in 80 Trees

Around the World in 80 Trees

In his latest book Around the World in 80 Trees Jonathan Drori CBE — trustee of the Eden Project, Ambassador for the WWF and former trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew — uses plant science to illustrate how trees play a role in every part of human life; from the romantic to the regrettable to the downright ridiculous.

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018

Jonathan Drori is one of five top environmental authors talking about their books at our unique WoodWords 2018 event.

Tickets limited and selling fast – buy yours now!

24th May: 6.30pm at the Sylva Wood Centre (Ox14 4QT)


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Inspiring natural companions revealed at WoodWords 2018

posted on April 16, 2018
The Long, Long Life of Trees

The Long, Long Life of Trees

Fiona Stafford’s enchanting book The Long, Long Life of Trees includes intimate, detailed explorations of seventeen common trees, from ash and apple to oak, cypress, and willow. Full of unusual topics and intriguing facts, this book celebrates trees and their long, long lives as our inspiring natural companions.

WoodWords 2018

WoodWords 2018 – a charity fundraising event

Dr Fiona Stafford is one of five top environmental authors talking about their books at our unique WoodWords 2018 event. Fiona was also the author of the Tree Charter in 2017, which Sylva Foundation was proud to support (read more).

Tickets limited and selling fast – buy yours now!

24th May: 6.30pm at the Sylva Wood Centre (Ox14 4QT)

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WoodWords 2018 tickets now on sale

posted on March 9, 2018

WoodWords2018

Thursday 24th May, 6:30 – 9:30pm

SYLVA WOOD CENTRE, OXFORDSHIRE, OX14 4QT

WoodWords 2018 brings together five authors who share a passion for trees and the environment, and a common fascination in our relationships with nature. At this, our second WoodWords literary evening, they will tell the stories behind their latest books – splinters and all.

This unique event takes place in the Sylva Wood Centre – an exciting hive of creativity in wood that brings fine furniture and industrial woodworking together, set amongst a new community woodland and orchard. Dress down, enjoy drinks amongst the sawdust and wood chips at The Wood Bar, admire the incredible creativity of our resident designer-makers and, of course, meet the authors and buy signed copies of their books.

Tickets are £20 each with all proceeds contributing towards the charitable work of Sylva Foundation. Purchase your tickets here


About the Authors and their books

Around the World in 80 Trees

Around the World in 80 Trees

Jonathan Drori, a former documentary film maker and executive producer at the BBC, has been a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Woodland Trust. He is on the board of the Eden Project and is an Ambassador for the WWF. Around the World in 80 Trees (Laurence King) celebrates trees as one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. They offer us sanctuary and inspiration and of course the raw materials for our lives. Jon uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human endeavour, from the romantic to the regrettable.

The Long, Long Life of Trees

The Long, Long Life of Trees

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford. In 2014 she wrote the text for the Charter of Trees, Woods, and People. Fiona’s book The Long, Long Life of Trees (Yale University Press) is a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings. Each of its 17 chapters is dedicated to a common British tree, drawing on folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each trees’ central place in western civilisation. The book was formerly Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year.

The Last Wilderness

The Last Wilderness

Neil Ansell is a writer and award-winning television journalist. The Last Wilderness: a journey into silence (Tinder Press) explores the experience of being in nature in the context of a series of walks that Neil takes into the most remote parts of Britain. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it. In the book, Neil explores the coastal oakwoods, northern birchwoods and relic pinewoods of Scotland, and as he walks he reflects on his past, including years spent as a forestry worker in Wales and Sweden. As a counterpoint, Neil also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.

A Wood of One's Own

A Wood of One’s Own

Ruth Pavey is a gardening journalist and writer based in London. After years spent living amid its urban thrum, Ruth yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, she found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One’s Own (Duckworth) is the story of how Ruth grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife.

Green Gold: the lost journals of John Jeffrey

Green Gold: the lost journals of John Jeffrey

Gabriel Hemery is co-founder and Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation. His first book The New Sylva (Bloomsbury) was published to wide acclaim in 2014. His latest book Green Gold (Unbound Publishing) is a fictional biographical novel based on a true story. In 1850, young Scottish tree-hunter John Jeffrey is despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic tree species in North America. Three years after setting out, after traversing British Columbia, Oregon and California, John Jeffrey disappears without a trace. Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? The discovery of his missing journals finally reveals the truth behind an extraordinary adventure.


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WoodWords™ 2016

posted on May 19, 2016

The very first WoodWords™ event at Sylva Wood Centre last weekend was sold out! 150 people were inspired by our enthralling speakers, all of whom passionate advocates for trees, woodland and the process of making in wood.

The speakers

We owe a huge thank you to authors Richard Fortey, Gabriel Hemery, Rob Penn and Paul Sellers for so generously supporting this fundraising event.

Gabriel Hemery
The New Sylva

Paul Sellers
Essential Woodworking Hand Tools

Richard Fortey
The Wood For The Trees

Rob Penn
The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees

 

With thanks to Gabriel Hemery, Jezella Piggot, Paul Sellers, and Rokesmith for the photographs.


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Invitation to the WoodWords™ literary evening 14th May

posted on April 29, 2016

Tickets are still available to this exciting event. Book now to avoid disappointment.

WoodWords 2016

WoodWords 2016

Trees, and the wood that comes from them, are part of all our lives. WoodWords™ 2016 brings together four authors who are passionate about trees, wood, and the process of turning it into beautiful and functional things. At this inaugural WoodWords™ literary evening they will tell the stories behind their latest books – splinters and all. We hope to meet you there.

This unique event takes place in the Sylva Wood Centre – an exciting new hive of creativity in wood that brings fine furniture and industrial use of wood together. Dress down, enjoy drinks amongst the sawdust and wood chips at The Wood Bar, admire the incredible creativity of our resident designer-makers and be inspired.

Saturday 14th May, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Sylva Wood Centre, OX14 4QT

Tickets are £15 each with all proceeds going to the charitable work of the Sylva Foundation.

Buy online now or telephone 01865 408018.


About the Authors and their books

The New Sylva

The New Sylva

Gabriel Hemery has a lifelong interest in sustainable forestry, and is co-founder and CEO of the Sylva Foundation. Gabriel’s book The New Sylva was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s 1664 Sylva. Intertwining science, art and history, and illustrated with 200 exquisite drawings by co-author Sarah Simblet, The New Sylva describes the tree species that play a significant role in today’s society, and offers a deep and enriching understanding of our orchards and forests. www.gabrielhemery.com

 

 

The wood for the trees

The wood for the trees

Richard Fortey is a British palaeontologist, natural historian, writer and television presenter. He served as President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year of 2007, and worked for most of his career at the Natural History Museum in London. The Wood For The Trees combines stunning natural history with the ancient history of the countryside. The book is a wonderfully evocative biography of a beech-and-bluebell wood through diverse moods and changing seasons, and tells the full story of the British landscape. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Fortey

 

 

 

The man who made things out of trees

The man who made things out of trees

Rob Penn is patron of the Small Woods Association and Media Associate at the Sylva Foundation. An avid cyclist, Rob is also deeply passionate about wood and woodlands. He presented the BBC Four series ‘Tales from the Wild Wood’. As a journalist, he writes for The Guardian, Observer, FT and Sunday Times, as well as a host of cycling and woodland publications. His latest book The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees was published by Particular Books, in 2015. His previous book It’s All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels was a Sunday Times bestseller in the UK, and was translated into 13 languages. www.robpenn.net

 

 

Essential Woodworking Hand Tools

Essential woodworking hand tools

Paul Sellers is an internationally renowned woodworking teacher and a leading advocate for his craft, reaching many thousands of people by recording instructional videos of woodworking techniques. Although Paul has earned a living as a woodworker, he refers to himself as an ‘amateur woodworker’ because he still does it primarily for love of the craft. His new book Essential Woodworking Hand Tools was written to pass on not only his knowledge of tools but his enjoyment of them. It helps anyone to make good choices in purchasing, sharpening, and beginning to use the tools that you need to build things from wood. www.paulsellers.com

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