This year the Friends of Three Cornered Copse is 7 years old, and as usual, at this time of year we celebrated with a short barbeque lunch to thank our volunteers and core committee for their work during the year. We also planted a batch of wild flower plugs, specially grown by Stanmer Park nursery, delivered by Garry, (our park ranger) around the silver birches. The meadow of flowers is looking better, although some bad weeds are in amongst the good weeds. Garry advised us to take out any rape seed and dead head the Ragwort. Next time we could dig out the numerous Burdocks which dominate and are out of proportion to the other wild flowers.
The principal users of Three Cornered Copse are cyclists, joggers and dog walkers, the latter are probably the largest group. The copse is a wonderful adventure playground for our canine friends, and it's a really social vortex for the owners too. The dogs play together, chase the balls thrown, and of course, poo on the floor. Practically all of the dog owners pick up the small deposits our friends will leave, and place them in the five dog bins that the council provide. But a growing problem, one that we've particularly noticed in the copse, is the strange behaviour of "incomplete disposal". The owners carefully pick up the treasure, place it in the bag, but then leave the bag on the floor, or worse, throw it into the shrubs and trees, left dangling as unsavoury jewellery from the saplings and fences. Keep Britain Tidy have recognised this problem and launched a campaign called "There's No Such Thing As A Dog Poo Fairy". Their research shows that 70% of the local authorities they approached recognise this as a real concern.
Last weekend, we picked up 20-30 of these small packages (there are poo fairies!), and it's probably the most unpleasant activity of our friends group, but essential for keeping the copse safe for other users of the space. It's anti-social to leave your dog's mess lying in the pathways, but even worse to hang it in a plastic bag on a bush at eye level. At least it rots away when not encased in cellophane.
Keep Britain Tidy's campaign is here http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/dogpoofairy/735
As usual, new volunteers always welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or see www.threecorneredcopse.org.uk