Sylva Foundation

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The Sylva Foundation is a tree and forestry organisation established in 2008, and registered as a charity in England and Wales in 2009. It is based in a rural location in the small village of Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire, England. It is concerned with the advancement and promotion of sustainable forest management.

It was the brain child of Sir Martin Wood and Dr Gabriel Hemery and was formed through the work of the forestry think tank Forestry Horizons, established in 2006.[1]

Sylva is a charity that places economics at the heart of its support for sustainable forest management. It has a national perspective with a focus on practical solutions at local and regional levels. Sylva is not a membership-based charity. It functions as a lean organisation, working widely in partnership with other organisations.

The Sylva Foundation's main programmes are Forestry, Education and Science.[2]


Sylva runs the forestry think-tank, Forestry Horizons, which operates at national and international levels seeking to advance and support forest science (e.g.,[3][4] ) and forest policy (e.g.,[5][6] ). It has produced a range of forestry publications for and with external partners (e.g.,[7][8] and [9] ), peer reviewed publications (e.g.[10] ), and provided public presentations (e.g.[11] ).

Sylva are developing a new applied science project with partners to study the links between environmental stress and tree health.


Their main education project is the OneOak project. OneOak was launched in 2009 and is following the life story of one oak tree. It is aimed at improving people's understanding and knowledge of growing trees for wood.[12]

Sylva collaborates with Forest School[disambiguation needed] at a county level with the Oxfordshire Forest School Service. It is also developing plans to support a new national co-ordinator for England.


Sylva is aiming to revitalise the wood culture in Great Britain via an ambitious new project: myForest.[13] The concept is that woodland owners map and measure their woodlands and add them to a google map-based website. If they complete an inventory of these woodlands then this will provide all the information necessary for wood buyers to contact them, anonymously, to discuss the procurement of timber. Plans are also being developed to link these woodland inventories with the regulatory framework.

The Sylva Foundation has close links with many organisations as it seeks to work as a catalyst for innovation and as bridge between forestry-related organisations. Of particular note are:


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Coordinates: 51°38′13″N 1°11′01″W / 51.636855°N 1.183551°W / 51.636855; -1.183551