Our forestry knowledge and information technology skills are supported by state-of-art evidence, providing innovative solutions to some of the greatest environmental challenges facing modern society.

myForest

myForest

myForest is a flagship project for the Sylva Foundation. Our mission is to use our forestry knowledge and information technology skills, supported by state-of-art evidence, to provide innovative solutions to some of the greatest environmental challenges facing modern society.

Free to all users, myForest is bringing the latest technology to the forestry sector. Whether a small woodland owner, or land agent companies, myForest provides comprehensive online mapping, digital tools and the latest resources not only to sustainably manage forests, but to provide unique support for the creation of new forests around Britain.

woodland advice
Woodland habitat around the stream

In Britain there is an estimated 700,000ha of under-managed woodlands. This has a big impact on our ability to create resilient woodlands, thriving habitats and healthy spaces for people, whilst overcoming threats from climate change, and a growing number of pests and pathogens. 

As one of Europe’s least forested countries, the UK needs to fulfil its potential in providing a meaningful contribution towards the country’s timber needs.

myForest has made both management planning and the coordination of our clients and work so much simpler. All the information and resources are in one place, the process is intuitive and straightforward. When we submitted the first management plan using myForest our local woodland officer said it was one of the best plans he had received.

Tim Selman, Managing Director, Wyre Community Land Trust

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NatureBid

NatureBid

NatureBid is an online funding platform offering the latest mapping and auction tools to reduce administration costs for investors in the environment.

NatureBid works collaboratively with funders and engagement partners to ensure a funding platform that best supports everyone’s needs. 

NatureBid is flexible and can support different approaches including reverse auctions, single shot auctions, collaborative working across landscapes, or used simply as a powerful engagement tool to allow landowners to propose projects on their land.

Funding is needed to support interventions to help with the biodiversity and climate emergencies. NatureBid has already provided a solution to allow funders to deliver environmental improvements across the country in an innovative and cost effective way.  

Sylva Foundation added the Woodland Carbon Guarantee to the NatureBid platform in 2019, and have worked successfully with the Forestry Commission since then to deliver four auctions, with more planned. The NatureBid platform is really user-friendly, supported by clear guidance including a video guide, making it easy for applicants to register and take part in the auction.
Sylva Foundation has been great to work with, they are solution focused and always deliver high quality outputs on time and within budget.

Samantha Neck, Forestry Commission

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Forest Lab

Forest Lab

Forest Lab is an exciting new project for myForest users to collect and share data to help support knowledge exchange, benefit forest management and forestry science.

Forest Lab is an innovative project for woodland owners and managers, developed in partnership with Forest Research.  Using the latest technology, Forest Lab enables myForest users to become volunteer ‘stewardship scientists’ by joining science projects, collaborating with researchers and sharing data to improve forest resilience, enhance forest biodiversity, and protect nature and the landscape.

Forest Lab presents a unique opportunity to collect and share data between woodland owners and managers, researchers and scientists that will have an impact, not just on individual private woodlands, but on the resilience of forests right across Britain.

I see change within my own woodland due to disease and possibly climate change. The more that can be learnt about these effects the better I will be able to adapt my management in the future.

Woodland Owner, 
2022 myForest Survey

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Woodland Wildlife Toolkit

A web-based toolkit providing advice on managing woodlands for wildlife, in particular rare and declining species that are dependent on woodland habitats.

Learn more about the Woodland Wildlife Toolkit

myForest Webinar Series - Episode 4

Woodland Wildlife Toolkit brings together species data from more than 30 expert organisations, and allows you to search for important wildlife that is likely to be found in or near your woodland based on available survey and distribution data.

The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit provides practical expert advice on wildlife species and how to manage your woodland in order to provide these habitats so they can thrive. 

The toolkit makes woodland management decisions easier. In addition to detailed advice for specific species, it provides advice on assessing the condition of your woodland. This includes helpful guidance on everything from managing mixed different woodland types, timing of management, to native woodland creation.

This information is crucial to developing a management plan that will create healthy habitats in your woodland.

Woodland Wildlife Toolkit

The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit has been developed in collaboration with: Bat Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Plantlife, RSPB, Sylva Foundation and Woodland Trust.

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Collaboration

We work with others to overcome the challenges of halting biodiversity loss and reducing climate change, while supporting the transition to a sustainable human society.

The British Woodlands Survey supports research across a wide range of important forestry topics in collaboration with universities and government partners, with the aim of advancing sustainable woodland management.

BWS2020 report

Through the British Woodlands Surveys we actively ask stakeholders – private landowners, land managers, agents, tree nurseries and businesses who have an interest in our trees and forests – about their aims and aspirations, such as the barriers to various approaches to woodland management, and also about threats, such as pests and diseases, and opportunities, such as growing the green bio-economy.

While the British Woodlands Survey complements other larger surveys, it can also reach people who own just a small amount of land, or who run a community woodland and who may be overlooked. Through Sylva Foundation we can reach these individuals who collectively make up a significant population of stakeholders in woodland management.

We are building a long-term data set to compare responses year-on-year to show what is really changing in British woodlands.

BWS2020 infographic

British Woodlands Surveys: completed and in process

“The insight provided by BWS in recent years has helped the Woodland Trust to understand the motivations and needs of woodland owners and managers. This is critical in allowing us to develop our offers of support to prospective and existing woodland owners. It is also vital as evidence for lobbying and advocacy in support of the woodland sector. The more people participate, the stronger the evidence.”

Mike Townsend, Principal Advisor, Woodland Trust

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Protect, Improve, Expand, Sustain

An innovative new project known as PIES – Protect, Improve, Expand, and Sustain, has been launched to help with the creation and management of woodlands across England.

The PIES project is providing a network of independent forestry agents to deliver high-quality and standardised advice to landowners across England, supporting them in planning to comply with the UK Forestry Standard, achieving Grown in Britain certification, and improving access to the Woodland Carbon Code. 

Landowners taking part in the project will receive subsidised support, including one-to-one advice with ongoing online support and technical services.

The PIES team combines the strategic work and information technology provided by Sylva Foundation, the network of independent forestry managers supported by the Forest Canopy Foundation, and the work of Grown in Britain in supporting the green economy. Together, the partnership is providing a joined-up approach, supporting landowners in meeting the objectives of the government’s England Trees Action Plan.

We are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver this innovative approach to supporting landowners across England. The PIES project will help meet many of the key elements of the England Trees Action Plan, including expanding and connecting woodlands, promoting the green economy, and protecting and improving existing woodlands

Dr. Gabriel Hemery, CEO Sylva Foundation

Interested in finding out more about the PIES programme?

This project is funded by the Trees Call to Action Fund. The fund was developed by Defra in partnership with the Forestry Commission and is being delivered by the Heritage Fund. You can find out more here.

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Forest & Climate Change Partnership

Forest & Climate Change Partnership

The Forest & Climate Change Partnership (FCCP) shares a vision that Britain’s trees, woods and forests are resilient to climate change and therefore able to meet their full potential to provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

The Forestry and Climate Change Partnership

The Forestry & Climate Change Partnership (FCCP) is a cross-sector group of forestry, conservation and government organisations who have come together to reaffirm their commitment to work together to promote the importance of adapting trees, woods and forests to climate change.

Climate change and the associated environmental impacts including drought, flooding, fire, pests and pathogens present serious threats to the health of our trees, woods and forests. 

There is an urgent need to improve the resilience of both newly created and existing woodland to climate change.

The FCCP is working to communicate the case for adaptation, to provide training and education, inform research priorities and contribute to policy development.

Forestry & Environmental Change

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Resilient Treescape Research

Helping government to support land managers respond to threats from pests and pathogens in England.

Sylva is supporting the government in the design and testing of new incentives and regulation to support land managers in responding to threats from pests and pathogens in England.

resilient woodlands campaign

The outcomes of this work are being used to help shape the government’s new Tree Health Pilot – it is a real chance for stakeholders to have a say in the future of tree health policy.

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The Sylva Wood Centre

The Sylva Wood Centre is a 12 hectare site in South Oxfordshire, and is firmly rooted in the local community. We have a community of Wood Centre businesses, the Sylva Wood School, the Future Forest, including a Forest School site, and the House of Wessex.

The Sylva Wood Centre provides the base for advocacy and collaboration

Business Incubation

We provide facilities to support business incubation, including start-up units, shared workspaces, and hot-benching facilities.

Business Hub

Our hub is for small businesses and craftspeople who design, innovate or make in wood. Businesses range from furniture making and outdoor structures, to boat-building and upholstery. There is also a small-scale timber yard on the site.

Teaching Barn

Our well-equipped teaching venue is providing the opportunities to deliver excellence in education and business enterprise.

Find a business at Sylva Wood Centre

The Sylva Wood Centre is an innovative place helping to make big change happen

Circular Economy on Site

Practical Expertise Leading to Innovative Solutions

Turning our Theories into Practice

Other Initiatives at the Sylva Wood Centre

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Training

We deliver training and education necessary to support the transformation of society, focusing on the stewardship of our forests and the utility of home-grown timber.

Sylva Wood School

The Sylva Wood Centre is the home of excellence and training in home-grown wood.

Summer School

The Summer School is offered in collaboration with Grown in Britain with the aim to explore home-grown timber that is under-utilised yet has lots of potential.

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The Sylva Wood School

Sylva Wood School

Sylva Wood School is bridging the gap between education and practice, and promoting the value of home-grown timber

Sylva Wood School provides an innovative new approach to design and skilled craft in home-grown timber through collaborations with educational institutions, non-profit organisations and commercial partners. 

See the impact of the Wood School

By providing inspiring experiences for students, and innovative opportunities for collaborating partners, the Wood School is highlighting the importance of using home-grown timber and the value of reviving Britain’s wood culture.

Based in the Sylva Wood Centre in South Oxfordshire, the Wood School provides access to a multi-purpose teaching barn and a large workshop with industrial-quality machinery. This allows students, not only to experience working with wood in a stimulating learning environment, but to achieve a professional standard of practice.

Wood School Short Courses:

By providing a programme of accessible short courses covering a wide range of topics and skills, the Wood School is creating inspiring and accessible opportunities to experience working with home-grown timber.

Wood School Courses

Summer School

Summer School

The Summer School is for those who have an interest in wood as a material, and see forests and woodlands as a place for learning and growing.

Professional Course

Professional Course

The vision for our Professional course is to sensitively combine education and business to create a sheltered workshop experience. Participants will learn in a professionally-equipped workshop by producing commercial projects. Learning will focus on repetition through low volume production rather than working on bespoke projects.

Introductory Courses

Introductory Courses

The vision for this programme is to introduce participants to a range of furniture making skills and experiences in a professional workshop. Essential health and safety training is delivered in hand tools, power tools and woodworking machinery. Training will be delivered in small groups by demonstration with the opportunity to practice skills through project work.

Short Courses

Short Courses

We provide a growing range of short courses suitable for all ages and skill levels: Maker sessions enable course participants to learn new skills and take away a beautiful object; Woodwork sessions are designed to hone your skills and techniques; Courses for young people have been developed to inspire and create a great experience.

The space and the equipment here – you can’t compare it to anywhere else, it’s just excellent. The fact the course is centred around machining skills, which sets it apart from others. Although you do hand tools work, the machining skills is what people in industry want, and is a bit more realistic. Also Joe is an excellent teacher, just the way he teaches really shows his experience…

Fergus Hooper – Sylva Wood School Fellow 2022

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Summer School

The Summer School is for those who have an interest in wood as a material, and see forests and woodlands as a place for learning and growing.

Visit the Summer School Web page

Sylva summer school 2022 with the V&A: exploring timber properties at the Sylva Wood School

The Sylva Summer School is a unique opportunity to realise three major ambitions at Sylva Wood School; to bridge the gap between education and the wood industry, to encourage a diverse range of people to come and engage with the opportunities we have to offer, and to collaborate in creating inspiring experiences and opportunities for young people to experience making with home-grown timber.

Over the past three years, Summer School participants have been given the opportunity to immerse themselves in all aspects of the Sylva Wood Centre: accessing the well-equipped Wood School workshops and industry-standard equipment; work with experienced mentors and teachers, and connect with our vibrant and creative community.

Make Good exhibition - a collaboration between the V&A and Sylva Foundation

Advocacy

We undertake advocacy to inspire, raise awareness, and endow people with knowledge, passion, and the shared ambition for a better and more sustainable society.

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