Authors to speak at Oxford event – 30th November

Aside

Authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet will both be speaking about The New Sylva at an event to be held in Oxford on 30th November.

The one day course, hosted the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford, is being co-organised by forestry charity The Sylva Foundation. The day course is open for anyone with an interest in trees and woodlands.

England’s woodlands have provided for our needs for many centuries, leading to a strong culture of appreciating and using wood, however in recent decades their care and management has declined. Additionally our woodlands are now facing unprecedented threats from environmental change, pests and diseases. Some have heralded 2013 as a turning point for the fortunes of English Woodlands. Hear and discuss how a revival of a ‘wood culture’ in England may lead to sustainable woodlands and greater quality of home-grown timber products.

Gabriel Hemery will talk about the work of John Evelyn in the 17th Century and the writing of The New Sylva to be published in 2014. A later session by co-author and artist Sarah Simblet, from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, will follow the making of 200 botanical, tree and forestscape drawings made especially for the book. They will be joined by TV presenter and journalist Robert Penn who will talk of his latest project honouring the ash tree in Britain. Nick Brown from Oxford University will explain the vital role of research carried out in woodlands owned by the university. The Sylva Foundation’s Alistair Yeomans will explain the role of the Good Woods project and how B&Q have injected financial support and enthusiasm into improving the condition of England’s trees and forests.

Book online

Places are limited. For more information about the course and to took book your place, click here.

Norway spruce drawings in progress

Last week we visited Westonbirt Arboretum (read more) to collect samples from various coniferous trees to be featured in drawings for The New Sylva.

Sarah Simblet has started work on drawing three plates featuring Norway spruce. The photograph shows work in progress, first in pencil, and the start to working in detail with pen and ink. Later more tone and depth will be added.

Norway spruce drawings in progress by Sarah Simblet

Norway spruce drawings in progress by Sarah Simblet

The left-hand drawing will depict a bunch of three mature female cones with examples of both right and left hand twist (which this species can present). It also represents how females cluster at the top of the tree. On the right-hand side a bunch of male cones on a sprig taken from ground level branches (centre right) and a solitary immature female cone with a few males taken from half way up the tree (far right).