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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - December- 2022



We had a good if cold gathering late in December but managed to clear the ditches and most importantly clean out all 10 bird boxes in the wood. Every single one of them had been occupied during the spring/summer and now all 10 boxes are ready for new occupants in 2023! Our work will continue in 2023- Activity mornings to work in the wood will take place on January 14th, February 11th, March 11th and April 2nd before stopping for the summer. Please put in your diaries the next date Saturday January 14th starting at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at 10am. The mulled wine which was so popular in December will be served again during the “tea” break! 


The sessions have proved very popular in the autumn and we plan to hold monthly sessions in 2023 from January until June before breaking for the summer holidays. We have received special funding from the Co-op to expand these educational sessions. The next two sessions are planned for Saturdays January 28th and February 18th from 1-3pm. Anyone who has children or grandchildren aged 6-12 years old could benefit from these fantastic sessions run by four qualified Forest School teachers. If you are not already on the direct Forest school session list, contact us at the friends of Big Wood email address in the first instance.


We have invited an expert from the Butterfly Conservation Trust to install a moth trap in Big Wood one night at the end of April and then we will provide some breakfast for people to visit to the wood in the morning to see the range of moths attracted to the trap during the night. Full details will be provided in the next two newsletters when everything is set up

AGM and Talk

Our Covid delayed AGM is now booked to take place on Saturday evening January 21st at Fellowship House starting at 7.30pm but drinks/snacks will be available from 7pm on. Do come to support the Association, discuss ideas for the future and then sit back to enjoy a talk from our bird expert David Darrell Lambert who will discuss, amongst other things, the result of our last bird survey in Big 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 2022/23 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. We need funds to finance some equipment but mainly for surveys and research into how best to preserve our fantastic ancient woodland. 

Our bank is 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 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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