Clearing pathways in the three cornered copse
As the weather starts to change, our work days in Three Cornered Copse become a little less predictable, but fortunately we always seem to escape the more extreme conditions. On the last work day we spent time clearing some of the pathways through the densest part of the woods, where the shrubs and bushes, burdened by the summer foliage, have bent low over the paths and threaten the passer by with thorns and burrs, as the brambles sprawl across the low canopy.
Some of these pathways have followed the same route for years through the copse, and others are relatively new. There is only one registered bridleway through the area, known as the top path, which skirts the edge of the woods along the eastern boundary of the gardens of the houses on Woodland Avenue. There is evidence of some hard core surface in places, and one of our older members recalls that horses from the local riding school used to pass along this path to the top of the Downs, for the daily hack.
Other paths have evolved as walkers have found their way between the trees and worn a route, perhaps following an animal trail. Each year they evolve, become wider, or cut off a muddy corner.
We also cut away the vegetation threatening to engulf the benches and seats, and restore the view they should see. Incidentally, there is now a clear view of the i360 from the top of the copse, as it starts to climb above the city profile.
We have also taken down one of the old signs that labelled the copse at the bottom end of the area, which helpfully listed all the bye-laws that applied to these council owned areas. And of course it was Hove Borough Council when it was erected. The sign was supported by a rotten frame and rusty steel, not the most attractive of woodland furniture, and was removed for renovation.
Finally, as we are all aware, the supermarkets now have to charge for singe use carrier bags. I was reminded of the first day we spent litter picking in Three Cornered Copse, several years ago now. On the lane from the Goldstone Crescent roundabout I remember collecting around 50 plastic bags, which had blown into the shrubs which line the path, in the first 100 yards. Lets hope the new rule will mean we find less of these now. Most of them were from the Co-op!
More information on the Friends of Three Cornered copse at our