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Introducing stewardship science to improve woodland resilience with ‘Forest Lab’

Home research Introducing stewardship science to improve woodland resilience with ‘Forest Lab’

This collaborative project with the Sylva Foundation and myForest users explores new mechanisms to improve knowledge exchange between forestry scientists and owners and managers of private woodlands to understand change in their woodlands and help build woodland resilience, through developing ‘stewardship scientists’. 

The project has two linked aims:

1) to explore if the exchange of information and knowledge between researchers and managers of private woodlands can be increased to help improve woodland resilience

2) to assess how the sharing of information, data, and additional measurements by woodland owners or managers engaged as ‘stewardship scientists’ could help understand woodland changes and help researchers provide more tailored information for managers about climate change and pest and disease risks


Research objectives

Forest Research tree health, adaptation and resilience researchers will collaborate with Sylva Foundation’s foresters and myForest web developers to assess:

1) the potential for, and best way to establish, a community of ‘stewardship scientists’ that could share site-specific information and measurement data with researchers through a ‘Forest Lab’ extension to myForest

2) the potential of a ‘Forest Lab’ extension to provide an essential information exchange between woodland managers and scientists as a ‘knowledge into action’ mechanism, helping with understanding changes in woodlands and their management

Our Involvement

Forest Research and Sylva are exploring the potential of ‘stewardship scientists’ to improve information exchange and collaboration between scientists and woodland managers.  The users of Sylva’s myForest platform are a valuable network of owners and managers of private woodlands who could provide a very important knowledge base for scientists.

We will survey these users about their attitude towards sharing their existing woodland management information with scientists. We will explore with them what information they most want, the possibility of collecting more data about their woodland, and willingness to use a Forest Lab extension to myForest to collaborate with scientists.

The ‘stewardship scientists’ concept and their role will be developed in the project and could involve sharing data with FR scientists to enhance the information provided on climate change and pest and disease risks, species suitability and adaptation measures, to make that information more useful and site specific.

We will also pilot the use of innovative monitoring equipment for selected project participants to increase the data collection and examine how such a collaboration could help our understanding of woodland changes.



Project Partners

FR are partnering with the Sylva Foundation, originators and developers of the myForest suite of woodland management web tools.



Research Status
Senior Scientist - Priority species/ habitats
Funding & partners
  • This project is funded for 3 years (2022-2025) under the Defra Future Proofing Plant Health programme. Forest Research are partnering with the Sylva Foundation.