BSc Wales, DPhil Oxford, CEnv, MIEEM, FICFor

Dr Gabriel Hemery co-founded Sylva Foundation with the late Sir Martin Wood in 2009, and has since led the charity as its Chief Executive.In addition to his duties as CEO, Gabriel leads on the charity’s scientific work, and supports colleagues working on forestry projects.

Gabriel is a forest scientist with a particular interest in hardwoods, gaining a PhD in walnut genetics and silviculture. During the 1990s and 2000s, he established 25 field trials across the UK and Ireland, and developed Britain’s first independent research centre dedicated to hardwood trees at Paradise Wood with the Northmoor (now Earth) Trust . He was a founding member of the British & Irish Hardwoods Improvement Programme, which later became the Future Trees Trust. More recently he has developed an interest in social research, leading the delivery of the British Woodlands Survey series for Sylva Foundation, and been involved in other collaborative projects exploring landowner’s awareness and attitudes towards critical environmental issues.

In 2022, Gabriel was elected Chair of the Forestry and Climate Change Partnership. He is currently serving on the Woodland Trust’s conservation advisory committee. He has acted as an advisor for the Forestry Commission, and a guest lecturer and external graduate supervisor at the University of Oxford. He was formerly a trustee of Woodland Heritage, and a founding trustee of Fund4Trees. In 2020, Gabriel was awarded the Peter Savill Award for services to forestry. Gabriel is a Chartered Environmentalist and an active professional member and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Gabriel is a passionate advocate for forestry and the environment, authoring more than 100 technical papers and articles. He appears regularly on television and the radio. In his own time, Gabriel is an author of several books, including the award-winning The New Sylva (Bloomsbury 2014). He is a recipient of the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors. His current writing project is The Forest Guide series with Bloomsbury Wildlife. He also writes a popular tree and forestry blog at