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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - January - 2021

First of all- a very happy new year to you all and a special thank you to the many Friends who have worked in the wood during 2020 and helped to keep it in good condition.


We will continue with our work activity mornings in the wood provided Government regulations do not prevent us. The dates for Jan-Mar are
Saturday January 16th
Sunday February 14th
Saturday March 20th

As usual we will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at the wood entrance at and aim to finish by 12.30pm. Please try to arrive on time so we can have a joint briefing on safe methods of working. We will work in small groups. Please bring your own gloves and your own refreshment as we will not be able to provide communal tea and biscuits unless regulations are relaxed. 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.


Unfortunately David Darrell Lambert is not available in January to carry out the talk on birds advised in the previous newsletter. We will try to organise a zoom talk during February

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. 


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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