Paradise Wood mapping project

Paradise Wood in south Oxfordshire was planted by Earth Trust in the 1990s, as a research centre for hardwood tree and is a unique resource for learning and advocacy. Thanks to funding from Vastern Timber, Sylva Foundation and Earth Trust will be working together on a new mapping project, using Sylva’s myForest platform to develop an online UK Forestry Standard management plan.

Paradise Wood mapping project

Paradise Wood mapping project, supported by Vastern Timber’s 1% Woodland Tax. In this picture, Dr Gabriel Hemery (right) highlights the extraordinary growth and quality of a 22-year-old hybrid walnut planted among novel companion species within Paradise Wood, to Tom Barnes of Vastern Timber (left).

Vastern’s 1% Woodland Tax is supporting a project that brings the Sylva Foundation’s expertise in forest management together with the woodland owners, Earth Trust, to help this project thrive in the future.

This woodland management plan will help Earth Trust to fully understand the full capability of Paradise Wood’s precious genetic resources, and Earth Trust and Sylva Foundation with the digital information to engage expert partners who can help realise the woodland’s potential to help society and nature, while also adapting to climate change.

Dr Gabriel Hemery, CEO and co-founder of Sylva Foundation explained:

“Paradise Wood was created about 30 years ago, at a time where there was no investment in hardwoods and a lot of focus on commercial conifers. It was set up as a research woodland. The trials we see here are often planted and replicated elsewhere across Britain, but this is the one site in the country where all those trials can be found together in one place. So it’s a place where not only great research can happen, but also where we foresters can undertake advocacy. We can explain to landowners the benefits of planting one tree or another, and in managing woodland one way or another. It’s an absolutely unique and special place in Britain, there’s nowhere else like it in the country. “

Funding for this project has been provided by Vastern Timber’s 1% Woodland Tax initiative. One of the largest hardwood saw-milling companies in the UK, Vastern specialises in British grown timbers and reserves one percent of turnover for supporting projects that help woodland thrive. The Woodland Tax funding is supporting Sylva Foundation to “read the woodland”, understand what’s growing, where, and why, in a silvicultural sense.

Ian Nutt, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the Earth Trust, highlighted the value of this partnership:

“Sylva Foundation is an ​​environmental charity helping trees and people grow together by supporting woodland owners to manage their woodlands, but does not itself own much woodland.  Earth Trust owns 500ha of land – a third of which is woodland. So, if we work together – Sylva’s forestry expertise with our woodland, their research interests and our advocacy experience – we can create a really powerful partnership. Sylva and Earth Trust were both founded by Sir Martin Wood and, as sister charities, we are delighted to be working together! This mapping project is the beginning of an exciting relationship that we can use to bring on other research partners, and help to realise the potential of this incredible research woodland asset.”

Vastern Timber‘s Managing Director, Tom Barnes, commented:

‘The idea of funding Earth Trust and Sylva Foundation to collaborate here, and make more than the sum of our parts, is really exciting.’

Read more on the Vastern Timber news page and watch the video below

Find out more about the myForest platform, trusted by some 10,000 users to map and manage 160,000ha of woodland across Britain: