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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - December - 2023

bigwood volunteers.jpg

Thank you for being a Friend to our wonderful Big Wood this year! Here are some of the volunteers from the most recent activity morning during their well earned tea break.


The next activity morning will take place next  SUNDAY DECEMBER 17th, meeting as usual at the Big Wood Temple Fortune Hill entrance for a 10am start. We had a fantastic productive team working on 2nd December and there is still plenty to do this coming Sunday. Please put this date in your diary and, if you can, join us for the last activity morning in Big Wood this year!

If you can, bring brooms to sweep leaves off the main paths and spades or shovels to finish clearing the ditches. We will also be removing invasive species and cleaning out all the bird and bat boxes in the wood to prepare for the new incumbents in the spring. A quick reminder that we have asked Barnet not to come in with their equipment, as they use a large digger to clear out the ditches and in the process damage the tree roots and destroy all the understory close to the ditches. As far as the paths are concerned, Barnet come in with their leaf blowers and blow most of the leaves on the paths into the adjacent ditches which then need to be cleared again by the Friends.


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

Also, don't miss the  Friends of Big Wood AGM on Tuesday 12th March at Fellowship House.
The special speaker for the event will be confirmed in the new year, as will our exciting programme of walks, talks and events for 2024


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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