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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - October 2020


We are planning to hold activity mornings on
Sunday Oct 18th
Saturday Nov 14th
Saturday Dec 12th

Don’t forget the next activity morning is on a Sunday. So we meet as usual at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at 10am on Sunday October 18th. Groups will be limited to a maximum of 6 people working together but keeping 2 meters apart. Remember to bring your own gloves. We will provide some tools but it would be helpful if you could bring your own cutters or secateurs. Sadly we will not be providing a drink/refreshments due to Covid restrictions so please bring your own. The work will involve continuing to clear glades, repairing and building up dead hedging, doing an initial clearance of the ditches and tidying up some dumping of garden waste at the Bigwood Road entrance. It is worth looking at the great work Friends did in the September Activity morning in clearing a huge pile of garden refuse which had been dumped behind the Denman Drive garages and stacking it up against the wall of the garage which not only partially hides the concrete wall but also provides a marvellous habitat for birds, small mammals and insects.

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


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 have decided that there can be no organised walks in the wood for the remainder of 2020 but hope to resume them in 2021. Likewise restrictions mean that we cannot hold any evening meetings at the moment. We are hoping that the bird survey update that we commissioned this year can be completed next spring and the report will be put up on our website.


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:-


Thanks to all of you who have already renewed your subscription to the Friends of Big Wood for 2020.May we remind everyone else to renew as we need funds to carry out all our planned activities and surveys. Please complete and return the membership renewal.

The annual subscriptions for 2020, are unchanged at £15 for an individual or £20 per household. We ask you to complete and return the membership renewal sheet attached.

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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