Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - December- 2021
The Committee want to wish you a happy Christmas and thank all of you for your support in 2021 especially those Friends who have worked so tirelessly at Activity Mornings, Forest School Sessions and the other Activities.
This short newsletter is being sent out to give you the dates for future Activity Mornings, Forest School sessions in Jan/Feb and a request for 2022 Subscriptions.
ACTIVITY MORNINGThe dates Jan-Apl 2022 are as follows:-
Saturday January 15th
Saturday February 19th
Saturday March 12th
Saturday April 9th
Please put these dates in your 2022 diaries. As usual we will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill starting at 10am and finishing at 12.30pm.
FOREST SCHOOL SESSIONS
Due to their popularity, we are planning to hold Forest School Sessions on a monthly basis in 2022. The dates in Jan-Feb are as follows- Saturday January 22nd and Saturday February 26th. We are considering altering the format and splitting it into two with one session for the 5s and under and another session for the over 5s. For now, reserve the dates and we will write again in early January with full information once our new plan has been finalised.
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.
THREATS TO TREES IN BIG WOOD
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 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