Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - June- 2022
With the summer holidays approaching, this will be the last Friends Newsletter until the beginning of September but the Committee thought you would all like an update on Big Wood matters.
These will also restart in late September and the exact dates will be advised in the next Newsletter.
FOREST SCHOOL SESSIONS
The latest session took place on Saturday June 23rd and as usual it was a fun day as well as an educational experience for the children ably directed by Charlotte, Emily and Lavinia. We are now taking a summer break and will restart the sessions in September. Details will be in the early September newsletter.
Professor Jeff Duckett, an expert on Bryophytes, is leading a walk in Big Wood on Saturday July 23rd starting at 2pm. Bryophytes are mosses and liverworts which adorn the trunk and branches of trees and it should be a fascinating walk of discovery. To book a place contact Bruce Mackay on email@example.com
CONTRACTORS WORKING BIG WOOD
Barnet and the Friends organisation have permitted contractors limited access through part of the outer path of the wood because the insurance company for a house in Chatham Close have dropped their demands to fell oak trees in Big Wood whose roots they allege are causing subsistence damage if they are permitted access to the garden backing onto the wood so that their machinery to cut a root barrier in the garden of the house can have access. They will start on Monday June 27th and the work will last 1/2 weeks. Access to Big Wood will only be necessary on the first and last day. There is a full notification on what is happening on our website.
Many members have already renewed their membership for 2022 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. 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