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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - September - 2021














We had a successful activity morning last Saturday when we started clearing and coppicing the large glade in compartment six and we also cleared some branches overhanging the gardens in Denman Drive. It was a pleasure to restart serving tea and biscuits half way through the morning so we could all meet up properly again. Future Activity mornings are planned for the remainder of 2021 as follows:-
Saturday October 23rd
Sunday November 21st
Saturday December 11th.
As always we will meet at the top of Temple Fortune Hill at 10am. Anyone arriving later should telephone 07973541264 to ascertain in which part of the wood we are working.
Please do make a note of these dates, our party was magnificent last Saturday but we could have done with a few more people!


Barnet carry out a three year survey of trees in the Borough to address health and safety issues. You will probably have noticed that they are felling or reducing a large number of street trees in the Borough. In Big Wood they are only concerned with trees next to the main (tarmac) paths or trees on the edge of the wood. They have identified 5 trees in the wood which need attention. One is a dead tree next to the main path which they will reduce but leave the trunk for woodpeckers etc. Another is a deceased mature tree on the path to Denman Drive which could fall across the path. We have persuaded Barnet to reduce the crown rather than leave the tree as a monolith. There are two other trees where two branches are overhanging the large house/garden at the top of Temple Fortune Hill. These branches will be cut back but the main part of the trees will be untouched. The fifth tree is subject to a subsidence claim at the back of Chatham Close. The insurance company want the tree to be reduced to a monolith probably killing the veteran tree but so far Barnet are resisting the claim. We have also just learnt that there is another subsidence claim in Northway where the insurer is demanding that 5 trees be felled in Big Wood! We will keep you up to date on what is happening.


Another very successful forest school session run by Friends took place in September for local children up to 10 years old, especially children of Friends. The feedback from both the kids and parents was brilliant and another session is planned before Christmas. Details will be provided in the October Newsletter.


Last year, because of Covid restrictions, there was no AGM but we plan to hold a meeting at Fellowship House on Wednesday November 24th starting at 7.30pm. The accounts will be presented for approval, and the Committee confirmed for the next year. Any Friend, who would be interested in joining the committee, would be welcome subject to numbers and should contact us on the friendsodbigwood1@email


Thank you to the great majority who have already paid their subscription for this year. To the remainder a plea- please pay 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

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