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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - September- 2022















We had a good morning activity last Sunday, although there were not many people present. We cleared some of the invasive wisteria, which experts had advised needed to be cutback and worked on clearing glade one. The next three Activity Mornings are planned for Saturdays- October 22nd, November 26th and December 17th. Please put these dates in your diary. We meet at 10am by the gate at the top of Temple Fortune Hill. Anyone who arrives late should telephone 07973541264 to find out in which part of the wood we are working


The first forest school session of the autumn for 6-12 year old children took place on Saturday September 24th and was well attended. The date of the next session has not yet been decided but is planned towards the end of October. For those parents who are not already contacted direct with details of the sessions, and who would like their children or grandchildren to participate, email the Friends and their names will be forwarded to the organiser of the next session. The session takes place  between 1-3pm and parents are asked to bring their children to the Temple Fortune Hill gate at 12.55 where they will be collected.


The Committee has decided to commission a survey from Dr Mark Spencer, who is a forensic botanist to advise us on any changes to the current management plan for the wood with particular advice on how to deal with invasive species and any desirable adaptions to the plan due to ongoing climate change.


We are hoping to organise a fungi walk led by an expert in the next few weeks whilst there is such a wonderful array of fungi in the wood. Details will be sent to you as soon as a date is finalised. Have a good look as you pass through the wood.


Friends will be pleased to know that we have been supported by the Co-op bank in our efforts to preserve/enhance the wood and particularly our efforts to educate the younger generation about the importance of woodlands/trees. Over the course of 2022, we expect to receive about £1000 from the bank.


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 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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