We have two differing nature trails for those interested in the local flora and fauna.
Barnet Gate Wood: Barnet Gate Wood was originally part of the Middlesex forest which covered the majority of what is now North London. The nature trail takes around an hour to complete, walking at a leisurely pace.
Access the wood from Hendon Wood Lane and climb the steps and pass through two kissing gates and straight along the path to the right of the fence. At the end of this path go through another kissing gate and into the wood.
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The walk is signposted with dark green indication markers. The first can be found here. A leaflet is available from Barnet Council (countryside officer 020 8359 3052) which contains details of all the local wildlife and interesting trees and plants to be found.
From here, follow the arrows straight ahead, passing two large oak trees and following the line of a hornbeam hedgerow and carrying straight on past a section of cleared area which is being worked on by conservation volunteers.
To the right is the original pond which was dug out again in 1993. Continue straight on past the fourth marker and then turn left just after the pond at marker five.
Continue along the path into the woodland, which as been reopened by the removal of some rhododendrons. At marker six continue straight on past a fenced area which has been created under the Woodland Grant Scheme as a trial to ascertain what effect local wildlife has on natural regeneration.
At this point carry straight on once more towards marker seven at which point you will be back at the north east section of the woodland close to where you started the walk. Turn right here and continue walking down the path.
Beyond the woodland here you should be able to see the start of the surrounding farmland. This field is also managed by the council. The path continues straight ahead and as you walk down it, you will see an area of recently coppiced woodland.
Coppicing involves cutting hazel or hornbeam to ground level and the following year a new mass of straight new stems grows. They will not be cut again for another seven to ten years.
Carry on along the path and turn left out of the wood at marker 11.
This link over a small bridge is not part of the public right of way but was established due to the generosity of the tenant farmer.
You are now on the route of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk and part of the London LOOP (London Outer Orbital Path). These are ten mile waymarked walks through the borough (also covered in this section of our web site).
On your left is another enclosure hedge with old laid hornbeams and a small copse of trees, at marker 13, is known as Triangle Wood.
The footpath continues on here back to your original starting point and the end of the nature trail.
Some of the flora and fauna you should expect to find on this nature trail include oak trees, beech trees, hornbeam hedgerows, rhodedendron, sycamores, damsel flies, frogs and dragonflies, woodpeckers, jays and bluebells (all depending on the time of year you talk this walk).
Coppetts Wood: This woodland has had an interesting history, including time spent sheltering highwaymen and plague victims. It has also been used as a rubbish tip and as a sewage works. Barnet Council is now running it as a valuable woodland and scrubland site. The trail is marked with yellow arrows and marker posts. The trail is half a mile long and should take around an hour to complete. Access to the trail is from Colney Hatch Lane.
A leaflet is available from Barnet Council (countryside officer 020 8359 3052) which contains details of all the local wildlife and interesting trees and plants to be found.
Once into the reserve, follow along the trail and go up the steps to marker two. As you pass along the path you go through an orchard with apple, pear and plum trees. At the fork in the path turn to the right. You should be able to see Alexandra Palace on the sky-line.
Continue along the path and at marker four you will enter North Wood. Turn right into the woodland, which is a good example of a managed site which includes coppicing.
Follow the right hand path and veer left at post five. Turn left here and then right at the directional post and head towards the pond. This was dug by the Countryside Management Service and sometimes dries up.
Continue along the path to Coppetts Wood Avenue, bearing right along the way and cross over the avenue into South Wood and continue to follow the path to the edge of the wooded area.
The path now enters some scrubland and you should stick to it through this area and onto the T-junction by marker 12. Turn right to return to the start of the nature trail.
Some of the flora and fauna you should expect to find on this nature trail includes Black Italian Poplar trees, Norway Maple, Field Maple, Lords and Ladies, beetles, Dutch Elms, oak trees, ivy, hazel and hornbeam, dragonflies, frogs, newts, pink rosebay willowherb and yello Canadian goldenrod plants.
Barnet Gate Wood is off Hendon Wood Lane and can also be reached by walking from Moat Mount Local Nature Reserve.
Coppetts Wood Nature Trail is part of the Coppetts Wood and Glebelands Local Nature Reserve and is located off Colney Hatch Lane, Friern Barnet.