Forest Lab

Can You Help?

Complete the Expression of Interest form

A new national monitoring project is being rolled out to help prevent the potential spread of a serious pest affecting spruce trees.

Volunteers are sought who have spruce growing in woodland that they own or manage, and who are willing to host and collect samples by installing a spruce bark beetle trap.

Spruce trees affected by an infestation of Ips typographus.
Photo (c): Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute - Slovakia,

The objective of this project is to help monitor any potential movement of a serious tree pest, the larger eight-toothed European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus).

By taking part in this project, volunteers will become part of an early-warning system and help action to be taken to limit the impacts of this pest. They will also be contributing crucial data to science that will help researchers in better understanding the biology of this pest and help shape policy and guidance for the sector.

Another benefit of taking part is that if this pest is discovered breeding in a volunteer’s woodland, prompt action can be taken to limit damage. Whether the pest is found in their woodlands or not, volunteers will gain insights into management actions which may reduce the vulnerability of their woodlands.

Case Studies

Download PDF Andy Stott, Woodland Owner
Download PDF Tim Read, Senior Ranger at the Earth Trust

About Forest Lab

Forest Lab is an application within myForest which provides technology and tools to help land managers share data to inform environmental science, and in return improve knowledge exchange between scientists and land managers.

Sylva Foundation and Forest Research are working in partnership to deliver Forest Lab, enabling myForest users to collect and share data from their woodlands to help support research. myForest users are responsible for about 9% of woodland area across the UK, therefore collectively are able to represent a wide range of woodland types, and to explore many different issues, at thousands of different locations across the country. We hope that as a result we will create a unique and powerful tool to capture important information and data about environmental change.

How to take part?

Taking part in Forest Lab requires you to have an account on the myForest platform. An Engagement Agreement sets out our joint commitments in working with you, and also what we expect from you in return. We hope this provides clarity and detail on important aspects, including commitments on your time, any legal considerations, and any specific responsibilities.

As with other areas of the myForest platform, we take pride in the care and attention we apply to managing your personal data. We have specific data sharing terms and conditions for Forest Lab because we are sharing some personal and/or environmental data with our partners Forest Research. In time, we hope to start working with more partners, in which case we will always be explicit and clear about the sharing of any data and ask for your permission.

Join myForest

Science Projects

Overall, Forest Lab will provide valuable additional data to compliment the National Forest Inventory. Forest Lab is also supporting projects that explore a range of specific subjects, ranging from forest health to tree growth:

  • Ips Project - Volunteers are helping to monitor the potential movement of the invasive tree pest the eight-tooth spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) which affects spruce trees.
  • Wildfire Project - Volunteers are providing valuable information and data to help our understanding of wildfire risk. Taking part will decrease wildfire risk for participants, and ultimately for all woodland owners across the country.
  • Resilience Project - We are exploring tree species suitability and yield to understand more about which tree species are ecologically suited to particular sites. This will help participants, and woodland owners across the country, improve the resilience of their woodlands under climate change.
  • Tree Growth Project - Tree growth is an important feature affecting ecological conditions in forests. Volunteers are collecting repeated measurements of tree diameter using dendrometer bands to help improve our understanding of the responses of trees to changes in site management and environmental conditions.
  • In Development - new projects are currently in development and the project team is always keen to hear from other researchers interested in proposing new projects.