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Friends of Big Wood Nature Reserve
Newsletter - March - 2024

Bigwood in Sunlight.jpg


Our Big Wood volunteers did fantastic work in February, clearing a glade of bramble and ivy, as well keeping the rather beautiful, but highly invasive, three-cornered leeks under control. Hopefully, we'll get another good turnout for the last activity morning this season, on SUNDAY 3rd March, meeting as usual at the Big Wood Temple Fortune Hill entrance for a 10am start.  Please bring along garden cutting tools, as well as spades and/or forks if you have them.

Sunday 3rd March - Activity Morning


Don't miss the  Friends of Big Wood AGM on Tuesday 12th March at Fellowship House.

We are hoping for a good turnout at Peter Falk's Last Hurrah as Chair of Friends of Big Wood, even as he fortunately remains very much involved in the group. Grant Thornhill, Arboricultural Officer in the Barnet Council greenspaces team will be guest speaker at the March AGM. We are lucky to have a professional and dedicated tree team at Barnet. They are a fund of interesting information, always worth listening to. Barnet have a fascinating and challenging job looking after our outstanding woods and tree stock, and here is your chance to find out more. 


Wildflower Walk - Sunday 19th May, 2.30pm 
It's impossible to miss the early flowering woodland beauties, such as bluebells, wood anemones and ramsons. It won't be long now before they are out to drive away the winter blues. Hot on their heels, there are a lot more Big Wood flower species coming into bloom, which botanist Caroline Beattie-Merriman will be showing us on her guided walk in May.

Moth Breakfast - Sunday 14th July 

Back by popular demand, after last April's entertaining event. Dr Phil Sterling, a leading authority on the over 2500 different species of moths in Britain, will be back to (temporarily) trap moths and give us the benefit of his incredibly engaging knowledge. This time he'll be covering moths that emerge later in the season - and more willingly, we suspect, due to the warmer weather in July. The moths won't be on the menu for our breakfast of course; refreshments will be provided by the wonderful Big Wood volunteers.

Friends of Big Wood stall at the RA Summer Fair - Saturday 8th June

Lots of interesting information about the woods and nature quizzes for all the family.

Dawn Chorus Walk and more - walks and talks for Spring to be confirmed soon.



'Trees for the Future' is the subject of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust Winter Lecture at Henrietta Barnett School on Tuesday 27th February 6pm. How is our changing climate affecting the health of existing trees and what choices do we make when planning for the future. Contact or 0208 455 1066 if you want to attend. 


A big thank you for supporting Big Wood for all our benefit by being members of the Friends of Big Wood. If you haven't renewed your membership yet, please do so now. 

As you will have noticed, we have moved the bulk of the membership renewal admin work over to Membermojo, a GDPR-compliant software widely used by small charities and voluntary organisations. Any queries, contact 


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. 




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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