END OF THE YEAR IN THE THREE CORNERED COPSE
For only the second time in our existence the weather caused the cancellation of our work day in November, as the rain started at 6am and continued hard through the day until well after nightfall.
Only the hard core dog walkers ventured out that day, and with good reason. As soon as the volume of water builds up on the thin top-soil, above the chalk, streams of water turn the paths into mud and several rivers begin the route down from the top to the bottom of Goldstone Valley through Three Cornered Copse.
Up until then it has been a mild autumn, the leaves remain on the trees, without a high wind to dislodge them, and it's been largely dry, with one or two quick frosts to remind us that there's something on the way. With climate change we are told to expect more storms, high winds and wetter winters, but this has been far Iron, the case, in Sussex by the sea. So far.
One piece of work completed by the Friends was the clearing of weeds around the saver birches which were planted around the coronation stone some years ago. The council gardeners have now mown the area, reinstating the path and allowing the trees to thrive without the brambles and thistles which were threatening to dominate one of the few level areas of the copse.
A year ago saw the delivery of the tons of chalk at the top of the copse, which has been used to pave the mud paths, thanks to the community payback team in the summer. It's good to see that this has done its job, raised the path above the mud and provided a firm base for walking through an area that usually becomes almost impassable in the wet season. The woodchips and frequent usage has softened its appearance, blending it in with the surroundings.
The milder climate extends the growing season through December into January, where the lowest temperatures occur these days. According to the Met Office, the growing season has been on average 29 days longer than in the period 1962-1990, in the past 10 years. Statistically there is now more chance of snow at Easter than at Christmas, but we still long for a snowy landscape to decorate the landscape each year. Here's hoping for a few crisp, white, morning walks through the festive season.
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse.