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.

Woodland Creation

Working in partnership with the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust, the Sylva Foundation is delivering a Woodland Creation Test and Trial to support the development of Defra’s Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. From 2021 we will also be working with Scottish Forestry and the Croft Woodland Project to run a similar Woodland Creation pilot in Scotland.

About

Sylva Foundation is developing a new Creation Plan and innovative online tools to support stakeholders in designing and implementing new woodlands that meet the UK Forestry Standard.

Ultimately, Sylva Foundation has three main aims in leading this project. We aim to ensure that:

  1. All new woodlands created not only meet minimum legal requirements but demonstrate good practice;
  2. All new woodlands are created with purpose and long-term goals to support sustainable development;
  3. All new woodlands created will remain in good condition and managed according to standards of the UKFS.

The Sylva Foundation project team is working on two key elements:

  1. Developing a new Woodland Creation Plan to support the design and establishment of woodlands which are compliant with the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)
  2. Designing and building a new online platform to support woodland creation, including the provision of innovative mapping tools, and the collection of all information necessary by landowners who wish to apply for grants and permissions.

Progress to Date

Currently within our first year of the project, we have held a series of online webinars reaching 31 land-owners and advisors. These stakeholders have been tasked with developing woodland creation plans using the online tool and providing detailed feedback regarding their requirements. Through the generation of multiple woodland creation projects varying in spatial scale, with differing opportunities and constraints, we seek to test the tool and the Woodland Creation Plan template. This will allow the platform to be further refined and facilitate more efficient and user-friendly woodland creation project planning.

A screenshot from the new Woodland Creation Planning platform which will eventually become available within the Sylva Suite.

Background

Sylva Foundation is well-known for its innovative land-management platforms including the Woodland Manager tool in myForest (used by more than 6,000 owners and land managers, mapping over 120,000 hectares of woodlands across the United Kingdom), Woodland Wildlife Toolkit, Deer Manager, and the online auction platform NatureBid.

A core partnership with the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust has been of significant importance while carrying out the two-year test a trial project in England. Working with practitioners based in the Northern Forest region, a collaborative co-design approach has been taken to develop both the tools and services practitioners require for successful planning and implementation of woodland creation projects. These will be hosted on the new myForest Woodland Creation platform.

During 2021 we will be refining and retesting outputs with stakeholders beyond the Northern Forest in a second tree planting season.

If you are interested in taking part in the tests and trials, or have other questions, please contact the Sylva project team: Paul Orsi or George Dennison