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Project information

myForest Development Christmas Appeal

Healthy woodland improves the environment. It cleans our air, supports wildlife, creates fertile soil, helps relieve flooding and provides space for learning, employment and relaxation. Help us help Britain’s woodland by supporting our myForest development project

12 months

Charity information: Sylva Foundation

Sylva Foundation logo
  • Need


    More than 72% of British woodland is owned by private individuals and organisations, the remainder is owned by government. Around 42% of privately owned woodlands are not under any active management. This is partly because some owners don’t know why they should manage their woodland, some don't know how to do it or think the costs are too great. As a consequence the environment suffers.


    The myForest planning tool was developed as a free, online resource for woodland owners, managers and agents to help and encourage them to map and plan to manage their woodland sustainably. myForest is used currently by more than 4,600 owners nationwide to map and manage more than over 58,000ha of woodlands across Britain. Next year we want to develop new tools to make myForest even more effective and encourage more owners to use it

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the reach of myForest to 228,000ha (10% in area) of all privately owned UK woodland by 2021


    » Raising the profile of the service with partners
    » Improve communications with users, including a regular enews

    What success will look like

    myForest tracks numbers and area of woodlands. Statistics are freely available online at www.sylva.org.uk/myforest/stats

    Aim 2

    Improve the effectiveness and useability of myForest and help it become self-financing


    » Develop and launch a paid-for myForest Prime service with new features such as access to OS mapping, better record keeping and integration with GPS
    » Develop and launch a myForest app so the service can be used when out in the woods

    What success will look like

    We will know we are successful if we successfully launch myForest Prime in 2017 and the myForest app in 2018

  • Impact


    Active management of woodlands has three main benefits: social, economic and environmental; the three pillars of sustainability. We will aim to encourage over 50% of myForest users to have an approved management plan by 2021 and will track how many exist over time


    The main risk is lack of sustainable funding to maintain the core, free-of-charge myForest service. We are addressing this through a comprehensive fundraising strategy and examining ways to make the service self-financing.


    Numbers of myForest users and hectares mapped are live online at all times. We will also report through enews to myForest users, through our blog and in our Annual Review.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £54,782

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £11,666 Salary IT Manager - % of time spent on general myForest maintenance, updating, incremental improve
      £7,200 myForest user communications Regular enews and support to service users
      £4,250 Office & general overhead Percentage of overall overhead allocated to myForest project
      £21,666 Development Development of new tools/app
      £10,000 Management Management by Chartered Foresters of myForest project

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Dulverton Trust £21,666 Guaranteed
    Sylva Wood Centre (management) £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Sylva Foundation is a small charity, founded in 2009. It is based at the Sylva Wood Centre in Oxfordshire but works nationwide. Its aim is unique - to help Britain's trees and woodlands thrive for people and for nature and encouraging innovation in design and making in home-grown wood.


    Active management of woodlands has benefits for society as a whole; sheltering us from the effects of climate change and improving human health and well-being. Income from selling timber encourages woodland managers to reinvest in woodlands, not only improving their resilience and ecological value, but also benefitting the rural economy. The environment is the ultimate beneficiary of vital management practices like letting in light, improving structure, diversifying species and managing pests.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Sylva Foundation has a reputation for being able to broker constructive and collaborative partnerships in its sector. It blends science and art to challenge perceptions and change behaviours. It’s not afraid to tackle complex ideas or to challenge the status quo. Although Sylva is small it’s efficient – using information technology cleverly to make positive change happen on a large scale and to conduct targeted research that underpins its programmes. myForest is a unique and proven service.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Paul Orsi

    Director of Forestry and Rural Enterprise. Overall management of myForest service and planned new developments.

    Richard Pigott

    IT Manager - responsible for initial development of the myForest service, continued maintenance and masterminding new developments.