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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - April- 2022















The bluebells, wild garlic and three cornered leeks are now all flowering together with the end of the wood anemones and yellow archangel and there is some solomon's seal in glade 2. Both Big Wood and Littlewood are quite glorious and at their best. It is well worth walking round the woods before the wild flowers fade in summer.
May we repeat what was said in the last newsletter- we ask all Friends to keep an eye out for the small minority who come into the wood and pick wild flowers. Please explain that it is not permitted to pick wild flowers in a nature reserve. If they take no notice and are damaging the wood, please phone 07973541264.


The next forest school session will take place on Saturday May 21st between 1 and 3pm for children aged 5-12 years old. If you would like your children to take part please contact Charlotte on  to reserve a space as numbers are limited. This session is planned to be fun but also to teach the kids the importance of protecting the woodland.


A very successful early morning bird walk took place over the Easter weekend led by David Darrell Lambert whose recently completed update bird survey in the wood was transferred to our website. Anyone wishing to read the report in full should access our website  We are planning further walks during the next few months and will provide details in the next newsletter



We are considering asking the expert botanist and woodland specialist Dr Mark Spencer to carry out a survey for us to see if he recommends any changes or additions to our current plan for the wood. He is giving us an initial complimentary consultation on May 13th at 2pm. If one or two Friends would like to join some committee members on this walk, please email us- it would be on a first come first served basis


Many members have already renewed their membership for 2022 and we thank them. But there are still a number who have not yet got round to it so we would be grateful if you could organise the annual payment so we do not need to chase. The correct bank account is the Metro Bank Acc no 41079576 sort code 23 05 80 or you can send a cheque to Friends of Big Wood c/o 4 Farm Walk


It is time to renew your subscriptions to the Friends of Big Wood. Once again subscriptions are unchanged at £15 for an individual or £20 for a household. If you joined on or after August 1st 2021 your membership is covered until the end of next year.  We have changed our bank during the year to the Metro Bank and the details for direct transfer are account number 41079576  sort code 230580.
Otherwise please complete the attached renewal form and attach your cheque made out to the Friends of Big Wood and send to 4 Farm Walk NW11 7TP.




It was reported to the meeting that there are currently two outstanding insurance threats to trees in Big Wood. Insurance companies are pressing Barnet to cut down two mature oaks near Chatham Close and five mature trees close to Northway. The Chatham Close claim is being resisted and an alternative suggestion of a root barrier has been suggested. The claim in Northway only involves damage to a garage near the boundary with Big Wood. The insurance company is asking Barnet to cut down two mature oaks, one of the few remaining ash trees which are still healthy and two mature hazels. Discussions are taking place with Barnet whose officials think some action must be taken or the Council will be faced with a large bill of circa £80000 if they refuse to take any action. 
The problem is that the law heavily favours the insurance company and there is little or no protection for ancient woodland/nature reserves. It is likely that Barnet will offer to cut back the crown by 30% of one oak and the ash as well as cutting a mature hazel overhanging the garage. Negotiations are on-going and the Friends remain in close contact with both Barnet and the local MP.


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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