Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - October- 2022
Wa had a short session on October 22nd because we stopped early so that volunteers could join the fungi walk(see below) which took place at noon. However good work was carried out clearing glades one and two. Several self seeding saplings of oak and wild service trees were discovered when the ground ivy and brambles were removed. Some expanding holly bushes and overhanging branches were reduced to permit more light into the glades and the dead hedges around the glades were built up both to protect the glades from trampling and as an important habitat for small mammals and birds. The next activity mornings will take place on Saturday November 26th and Saturday December 17th. As usual we will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at 10am. There is a lot of work to do as, in addition to working in glade number three, we will need to start clearing the main path and the ditches so do come and help.
FOREST SCHOOL SESSIONS
We had an excellent forest school session last Saturday despite the rain with a full house of enthusiastic children run by our excellent team of forest school organisers ensuring that the ratio of children to each organiser was small. The next forest school session will take place on Saturday December 3rd. The sessions are very popular but if any parents, who are not already in direct contact, wish to register their children (aged 6-12) to attend- reply to our email above.
We are hoping the survey by Dr Mark Spencer described in the last Newsletter will be with the Committee by the end of the year and details will be passed to the Friends in upcoming Newsletters.
The last walk of 2022 took place on the 22nd of October led by David Humphries veteran tree and fungi expert from the Hampstead Heath City of London team. This was a very interesting walk which showed that there were an amazing range of fungi in Big Wood. Anyone wanting more information can read an excellent article written by one of our Friends who attended the walk which will be published in the next addition of Suburb News. There will be a varied range of walks organised in 2023.
We have delayed our AGM so that the date fits in with one of David Darrell Lambert’s visits to London so he can give us a talk on the latest Big Wood bird survey. As soon as he firms up on his visit dates, we will give you the date of there AGM.
THREATS TO THE WOOD
Together with Barnet Trees section, we have successfully fought the insurance company who wanted us to fell three mature trees in Big Wood because of subsidence in a Chatham Close house. We suggested a root barrier as an alternative and our proposal was finally accepted provided we permitted access to the garden of the house through Big Wood. Damage to the wood was minimal and is temporary. There is another outstanding claim for us to fell 6/7 trees in the wood because of a crack in the wall of a garage in Northway. This is, of course, being opposed together with Barnet Trees section and any developments will be reported on in future Newsletters.
Despite the very dry summer, we have, so far, only had one major fall when a large branch of an oak tree fell onto the main path. It was so large that we had to ask Barnet contractors to come to the wood and cut it into small enough sections to move to the side of the path.
Many members have already renewed their membership for 2022/23 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.
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