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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - February - 2021



Sunday February 14th
Saturday March 20th

Just a reminder that the next Activity Morning is planned for Sunday February 14th with the following one on Saturday March 20th. The very heavy rain over the last month will mean that there will still need to be some more work on the drains and the path but the main activity will be finishing clearing the two large glades. We will also be checking and, if necessary, replacing bird and bat boxes. As usual we will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at the wood entrance. To conform to Covid regulations, we will continue to work in Twos. Please bring your own gloves and, in February, your own refreshment. We hope, if the regulations are relaxed, that we will be able to re-start offering tea/ biscuits again during the break in March. For those arriving late please come to the gate and telephone 07973541264 for instructions

Obviously please do not come if anyone in your household have symptoms of the virus.


We have also arranged an evening talk on Thursday March 11th. This talk will be given by Kirsty Crawford from TCV and called “Dead Good Dead Wood” It may sound an odd title but it is a really interesting subject and hopefully may make more people respectful of the vital importance of dead wood in woods like Big Wood. Make a note in your diaries for what should be a fascinating evening. Anyone who would like a preview of the subject just go to 
The dead good Deadwood Survey from TCV Scotland

We have decided that there can be no organised walks in the wood but hope to resume them. Likewise restrictions mean that we cannot hold any evening meetings at the moment. 


Thank you to so many for renewing their annual subscriptions so speedily following our January Newsletter. However there are some who have not yet renewed so this a reminder to renew. We are attaching the Membership renewal form again and look forward to the remainder renewing as quickly as possible

The Committee discussed the option of extending the subscription period due to the lack of walks/talks in 2020 but decided it better to build up our reserves so we can afford to fund more surveys and use the services of outside experts when necessary. So we would ask you to remit your annual subscriptions, which are unchanged at £15 for an individual and £20 for a family. We ask you to complete the membership form attached and email . New members who have joined up since August 2020 need not pay as their subscription will run until end 2021. We would prefer electronic payment to the account/sort code on the membership renewal but can accept cheques.




Footfall (and paw-fall too) have increased substantially following the onset of the pandemic not least because of the greater awareness of the value of woodland to health and welfare. So too has wear and tear in the wood increased. At the same time the resources that the Council devotes to the wood are ever dwindling and the contractors they do use are increasingly general workers without particular knowledge of woods.  So never has there been greater need for the work that we the Friends do, the protection to the wood that we offer and the importance of a very close relationship with Barnet Greenspaces who own the wood. Our current five year plan agreed with Barnet comes to an end in 2021 and we need to consider carefully what should be our priorities going forward. We will be discussing our objectives and the strategies to achieve them at our next committee meeting towards the end of this month. If any Friends have views or ideas, they would be welcome. Please email us.



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 in the July Newsletter. 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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