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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - July/August - 2021














Activity mornings will restart on Saturday September 25th so please reserve the date. As usual we will meet at 10am at the top of Temple Fortune Hill and, unless conditions change, we will be able to resume providing tea and biscuits during the morning for the lively get together which we used to have before Covid struck.


Do not forget to register for the guided walk on Galls (growths that develop on various plants)being led by expert Tommy Root on Saturday September 4th.  We will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at 11am. Please advise if you plan to join the walk by contacting Maria Schlatter at


We sent you details of the next Forest School session in the wood in the last Newsletter but you probably noticed an error in the date. Yes it will take place mid September on a Saturday but the correct date is Saturday September 18th. As stated in the last Newsletter the session is designed for children aged 4 to 10 years old and is limited to 12 children so, if you have not already done so, you need to register with Lavinia Kartal at


Some of you may have noticed small groups with charts gazing at the crowns of trees in the wood. There are about 350 oak trees in the wood and we are carrying out a long term survey of the health of the oaks and the rate of decline. We have selected a sample of 70 trees (10 in each of the seven compartments of the wood) and we monitor the state of the crown annually according to a method given to us by tree experts. Over say a 10 year period we will have a much better understanding of the state of the oaks in the wood.


It is hoped that Jeff Duckett will be soon available again so that the survey teams can regroup and start work again from Mid September.


Barnet are planning some work on five trees in the wood for health & safety reasons or claims for subsidence from adjoining houses. The Committee are inspecting these trees and are working with Barnet to agree on a plan of action which will be reported on in the next Newsletter. If anyone would like details now, please make contact.


Thank you to the great majority who have already paid their subscription for this year. To the remainder a plea- please pay the current bank details are Nat West sort code 515011  acc no 66650593




Litter remains a problem and some of us regularly pick up litter as we go round the wood. If any one else wants to help and would like a litter picker, please contact us. We have a number of Friends who are regularly are picking up litter but please can all the Friends help to keep the wood clear of litter. 


We reported on the importance of dead wood. The official UK standard for healthy woodland habitat requires 20m3 of deadwood per hectare and most woodlands in the UK, including Big Wood, is below this level. It is important therefore that all dead trunks and fallen branches are left where they fall or are left standing.

A reminder that ageing trees and dead wood are vital for a healthy woodland habitat. A huge swathe of the woodland ecosystem relies on tree wear and tear- hollows, dead branches and fallen trees. 


There is a marvellous short clip about the management of oak trees and the importance of not compacting the roots in Kew Gardens following the great storm of 1987. Anyone who is interested click on the following:-

Remember that all details are here on our web site so do signpost your local friends and neighbours to visit the site and encourage them join the Association and to be Friends Of Big Wood.

The Friends of Big Wood Organisation is aware of the new General Data Protection Legislation. Organisations such as ours, which keep a register of names purely for recreational reasons, are exempt from the new regulations. We would advise you all that the data stored is purely to enable us to provide information about Big Wood and no information will be passed to any third party. If, nevertheless, you would like your details deleted from the list, please email us

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