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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - January - 2024


Almost all of the two bat boxes and dozen bird boxes were occupied successfully this year. Just these two beautifully constructed nests were unfortunately abandoned before most of the eggs could hatch.

A very Happy New Year to all our Friends of Big Wood!


A heartfelt thank you to the large number of wonderful volunteers who came together in December and achieved an impressive amount of work. We finished clearing the ditches for flood prevention, cleaned out the bird and bat boxes in readiness for new inhabitants in the spring, cleared paths, repaired the fence behind the Free Church Hall and cut back invasive species. 

Join us in 2024 to help keep Big Wood in good condition. The next activity morning will be on SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY, meeting as usual at the Big Wood Temple Fortune Hill entrance for a 10am start. Please put this date in your diary and, if you can, join us for the activity mornings in Big Wood this spring!


Please put these dates in your diary for 2024!
Saturday 13th January - Activity Morning
Saturday 3rd February - Activity Morning
Sunday 3rd March - Activity Morning

Don't miss the  Friends of Big Wood AGM on Tuesday 12th March at Fellowship House.
We are happy to announce that Grant Thornhill, Arboricultural Officer in the Barnet Council Greenspaces Team, has agreed to be the special speaker at this event.


We are in the process of planning a number of interesting events this year, so watch this space! 


A big thank you for supporting the maintenance and improvement of Big Wood for all our benefit by being members of the Friends of Big Wood

Peter has invested a huge amount of effort over the years, dealing with membership applications and renewals. As we want to make life a little easier for him (as well as for our members) we are moving the bulk of the admin work over to Membermojo, which is GDPR-compliant software widely used by small charities and voluntary organisations. You will receive your renewal notification via Membermojo in due course. But there will still be a human FoBW contact available!


Many thanks to the members who have already renewed their subscriptions for 2024. This is a reminder to the rest to pay their subs for the year. There has been some problems with bank transfers because our bank (Metrobank) is not part of the cosy club of traditional banks so when you enter our details your screen says they cannot confirm the account and to beware of scams. In fact you are quite safe to continue as the Metro bank, though small is quite safe and is a reputable small bank.




Barnet Council have recently brought out a Greenspaces Volunteering Handbook. It includes straightforward health and safety guidance to ensure that all volunteers remain safe while working in the borough's green spaces. If you take part in the activity mornings, please click on this Volunteer Handbook link and read the document. Get in touch if you have any questions.


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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