Our RootsSylva is an old English word from the latin silva: meaning a wood, forest, woodland.
During the reign of Charles II in 1662, John Evelyn was asked by the Royal Society to draw attention to the damage done to England's wooded estates during the English Interregnum and to encourage reforestation. The resulting paper was entitled: Sylva or a discourse on forest trees and the propagation of timber in His Majesty's dominions. This led to the publication of his famous book with the same title in 1664, which ran to three editions during his lifetime.
Around 250 years later, in 1919, the British Government established the Forestry Commission in response to dwindling timber reserves following the First World War. History was repeating itself.
In 2006, Sir Martin Wood and Dr Gabriel Hemery founded a project seeking to review the status of Forestry in the UK: Forestry Horizons. The project was founded on a simple beliefs that trees are good, that we should look after them better, and have more of them.
Research by the Forestry Horizons think-tank revealed many issues that needed to be addressed, and also many opportunities for forestry in the 21st Century. In no other time in history has forestry had the potential to deliver so much value: whether that be carbon storage or flood control, soil protection or habitat provision, landscape value or recreation provision, wood-energy products or carbon-lean construction materials, human health or strong rural economies.
We hope that the launch of the Sylva Foundation during 2008/09 heralds a new approach to supporting forestry in England and beyond.
We are proud to be maintaining the legacy of John Evelyn, and will be working hard to assist forestry in meeting the challenges of the modern era.
We hope you can work with us.