wood

encouraging the use of home-grown wood by supporting skills, enterprise and innovation

The Sylva Wood Centre is a hub for small businesses and craftspeople who design, innovate or make in wood. It is also the home of the Sylva Foundation.

The centre provides dedicated space, equipment and an inspiring community of woodworking professionals. Alongside business units for established businesses we provide facilities to support business incubation.

We occasionally open the centre for exhibitions, especially during Oxfordshire Artweeks. We offer a range of regular courses in wood and related crafts for members of the public.

Surrounding the buildings we've planted a community orchard, complete with an apiary, and a demonstration Future Forest with tree species that may thrive despite climate change, pests and diseases. We have a new dedicated forest education area with space for children to learn about and enjoy woodland.

"Our collaboration with Sylva has continued to blossom, since 2015 we have provided a year-long incubator workshop for a graduate at the Wood Centre." Drew Smith - Programme Leader FdA Furniture Design and Make - Rycotewood Furniture Centre
current courses

Wood School

The Sylva Foundation Teaching Barn is the most recent development on the Wood Centre site, providing us with our first dedicated teaching classroom. The multi-purpose space is fitted out with hand tools and workbenches ready to deliver education and training programmes for the Sylva Wood School.

It has been designed to easily transform from workshop to classroom, allowing us to host presentations, seminars, and events, as well as a wide range of practical courses. It is self-contained with its own kitchen, disabled toilet, and car parking, and is situated at the heart of the site with access to the Future Forest, Forest school site, and our community of small businesses.

We are very grateful to the following funders for supporting the construction of the Teaching Barn and much of its equipment, Oxfordshire Leader, People's Postcode Lottery, the Aspen Trust, the Shanly Foundation and the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.


our wood activities

Join our business community

Business Incubation

We offer dedicated incubation facilities at the Sylva Wood Centre which suit business start-up and serious hobbyists. We operate a 'hot-benching' scheme available offering weekly rental in a communal space, with access to a well-equipped machinery workshop.

Read our terms and conditions

Business Units

We offer rental units for established wood-related businesses.

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Wood Centre Courses

The Sylva Wood Centre offers a prime location for learning and skills development in wood and related crafts. Courses are run among a thriving community of wood businesses, with excellent specialist facilities, surrounded by an attractive landscape.

Find out more and view our current courses on offer


We are always pleased to hear from wood and craft tutors to extend our range of courses.

Contact us

Sylva Wood Centre community

We host a growing number of businesses working in wood and related crafts at the Sylva Wood Centre. As a dedicated business centre, not a visitor centre (except during special events), people are asked to contact a specific business prior to visiting. You will find relevant contact information below.

Business Description   Website
Ali Buchan Furniture Bespoke Furniture Maker   www.alibuchan.com
Chris Boreham Bespoke Woodwork Furniture business originally supported under our Start-Up facilities   www.chrisboreham.co.uk
Classic Watercraft Custom boat building and restoration   www.classicwatercraft.co.uk
Colin Henwood Builder of wooden boats: restoration and rebuilds   www.colinhenwood.com
Face North Forestry Professional forestry contractor offering low impact management of the rural environment, plus mobile sawmill and firewood processing   www.facenorthforestry.co.uk
Julian Angus Carpentry and fitted joinery. Education workshops for young people   www.julianangus.com
Mary’s Chairs Furniture restoration and upholstery, also offering tuition and creative workshops   www.maryschairs.co.uk
Matt Estlea Woodworker, designer and creator (2017-18 Rycotewood craftsperson-in-residence)   www.mattestlea.com
Neil Scott Furniture Bespoke furniture business   www.neilscottfurniture.com
Oxford Oak Outdoor furniture and pergolas using home-grown oak   www.oxfordoak.co.uk
Rycotewood craftsperson-in-residence Rycotewood Furniture Centre, at City of Oxford College, supports one graduate each year in setting up their businesses at the Sylva Wood Centre   www.cityofoxford.ac.uk/our-courses/furniture
Simon Clements Carving Wood carving and sculpture, also offering training courses   www.simonclements.info