The Friends of the Three Cornered Copse came about through the interest and enthusiasm of our current Chair, Ruth. As a dog walker Ruth spent a lot of time in the copse and she simply wanted to make the area a better, more managed and cleaner place. In autumn 2008 Ruth contacted the Parks Department and asked if they could loan her some long handled litter pickers so she could get a small group together to clear some of the litter in the copse. This they did and one Saturday a team of half a dozen or so removed rubbish that had collected over many years.
Shortly afterwards Min Hills, the Park Ranger with responsibility for the Three Cornered Copse, called Ruth, showing a keen interest to support her efforts to improve the area. Min advised that the best way to proceed would be to set up a Friends group which would provide a formal link with the Council and with her as Park Ranger.
An open meeting for all those interested in the Three Cornered Copse was arranged for April 2009, the Friends of the Three Cornered Copse was formally constituted and a Committee was elected The group's purpose is to promote, enhance and conserve the well being of Three Cornered Copse and membership is open to all that use, or have an interest in, the continued well being of the copse. There is an Annual Membership fee currently £2.00 for individual membership or £3.00 for family membership.
Much of the work of the group is achieved through Workdays which are held every two months. These Workdays are arranged in conjunction with the Council and at least one Park Ranger is always present. One of the first things the group did was to build steps down from the top path to the middle path, by the upper twitten. Litter picking and ringing ivy are an ongoing feature of many Workdays. We cleared a mass of brambles from the grove of Silver Birches and the Coronation Stone thus opening up this site and making it more of a feature. We cleared one of the coppices and with help from Paul the Park Ranger, learnt about and actually completed some coppicing, and created habitat piles for the wild life. We have cleared tons of black plastic and tree collars from the new trees which were planted after the 1987 storm. We have planted 400 wild flower plugs in the grass bank near the top of the grassy slope to create a mini wild flower meadow and made an ash and hazel fence to protect this area.
Behind the scenes the committee applied for and were granted £900 funding from the Hedgecock Bequest for replanting some silver birches and renovating the Coronation Stone in the site at the bottom of the grassy slope. We were also successful in getting the Council to put in proper litter bins at the top and bottom entrances to the copse. Through the Committee Meetings and additional contact with the Park Rangers we raise issues such as the need for control of the Japanese Knotweed, ongoing problems with Fly-tipping in the copse, damage caused by young people gathering in the copse for drinking parties and other issues which are notified to us by our members.