top of page

Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - June - 2021














Some of you have asked about activity mornings. Our policy is to stop working parties in the wood during the growing and breeding season and restart the Activity mornings after the summer break in September. We will advise you of dates nearer the time.

Unfortunately the guided walk on Bryophytes scheduled for July has had to be postponed because Jeff Duckett is now unavailable. However the guided walk on galls by Tommy Root is going ahead on September 4th.. he is carrying out the Gall survey so put the date of Sept 4th in your diary! 


One of the objectives in the plan agreed with Barnet was to liaise with local schools and provide some education on woods and nature reserves. We have been unsuccessful over the years in getting the busy local schools to find time for outdoor education in the wood although the study of nature is part of the school curriculum. Therefore we have sent two members on a forest school course so we can arrange our own controlled activities in Big Wood. On June 12th, Friends of Big Wood hosted their first Woodlands session aimed at the younger children of Friends. Charlotte,Lavinia and Emily organised the session attended by 8 local children aged 4 to 10. The setting was in Glade 6 in an area with few wild flowers. The area also includes a large fallen tree. The session was a great success and a picture is attached to the Newsletter.
As stated above, involving children has always been part of the Friends of Big Wood 5 year plan and this first session has been met by such enthusiasm from both the children who attended and their parents that we will be running another session in September. The date reserved is Saturday September 19th from 2 to 4pm. If you would like your child to take part please contact Lavinia on to reserve a place as numbers are limited to no more than 12 to permit good control and protect the wood.









It has been reported by a Friend that the sound of a cuckoo has been heard in the wood. Also there is a pair of tawny owls with two juveniles which can be heard begging for food at night. We are still waiting for David Darrell Lambert’s latest bird survey.

Unfortunately there have been some barbecues/fires in the wood in one of the glades. Luckily the fire has not spread probably due to the frequent rain over the last few weeks. A sign is being erected in the glade but if any Friends see barbecue activity, please point out that this is not permissible in the nature reserve because of the damage it could cause to the biodiversity of the wood.

This is continuing under the direction of Jeff Duckett and we already have ten Friends who have signed up to help with the survey. However the survey will continue until the end of the year so there is still time to join up and help carry out the survey. Any more Friends, who are interested, should contact Bruce Mackay on


Thank you to the great majority who have already paid their subscription for this year. To the remainder a plea- please pay in the next two/three weeks as we are planning to change our bank account at the beginning of April. The current bank details are Nat West sort code 515011  acc no 66650593




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

bigwood forest course.png
bigwood forest school.png
bottom of page