Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - August- 2022
This is a brief end of August Newsletter to bring you all up to date on matters concerning Big Wood. A further Newsletter will be sent out in September when more dates for Autumn activities have been decided.
These mornings start again in September and, as usual, will continue until the Spring next year. The September work morning will take place on Sunday September 25th starting at 10am. We will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill and will concentrate on repairing some of the dead hedging, clearing up around some of the crab apple trees and starting to remove the invasive wisteria which has spread from neighbouring gardens. This is not good for the wood as it rises up into the canopy depriving the trees of light. Dates for the rest of the winter/spring will be set out in the next Newsletter.
FOREST SCHOOL SESSIONS
We are hoping to restart these sessions from late September but the team needs to get together to plan ahead after the holiday period. Dates will hopefully be announced in the next Newsletter.
Apart from the circa 350 oaks in Big Wood, we have a number of other species and during the summer and next few months, we are carrying a survey of other trees in the wood. We have already established that there are about 110 Wild Cherries and 77 Wild Service Trees as well as many suckers. The large quantity of Wild Service Trees is unusual and an indicator of an ancient wood and is a main reason why our wood is so special. In addition we have found over 20 crab apple trees and at least 6 large ash trees which seem to be healthy and not affected so far by ash die back ( there is disagreement amongst experts if some variety of english ash may be resistant to the die back). When this survey is complete, the full details will be put on the web site.
THREATS TO THE WOOD
Together with Barnet Trees section, we have successfully fought the insurance company who wanted us to fell three mature trees in Big Wood because of subsidence in a Chatham Close house. We suggested a root barrier as an alternative and our proposal was finally accepted provided we permitted access to the garden of the house through Big Wood. Damage to the wood was minimal and is temporary. There is another outstanding claim for us to fell 6/7 trees in the wood because of a crack in the wall of a garage in Northway. This is, of course, being opposed together with Barnet Trees section and any developments will be reported on in future Newsletters.
Despite the very dry summer, we have, so far, only had one major fall when a large branch of an oak tree fell onto the main path. It was so large that we had to ask Barnet contractors to come to the wood and cut it into small enough sections to move to the side of the path.
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.
LITTER IN THE WOOD
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