AN EVENTFUL MONTH IN THREE CORNERED COPSE
The last work day of 2016 for the Friends of Three Cornered Copse was on 10 December, where the rain threatened to keep us from finishing the coppice clearing at the north eastern corner of the area.
But we were spared all but a light drizzle, so eight volunteers worked for three hours to finish the ground clearance and woodland management of the planted woodland near Woodland Court. We attacked the brambles and trimmed back the wild rose bushes that entwined with the mature trees, to allow them some space to flourish. In just that small area, we found a quite diverse population of trees - hazel, beech, yew, spindleberry, interspersed with the unwanted elders and sycamores that are trying to thrive. It will be interesting to see if the thinning out brings forth some woodland floor vegetation, in the spring.
In an incident-packed month in the copse, two of these are of special note. The first was that we have lost our bench in the middle of the grassy area. This was old, slightly rotten, but fully functional, and unfortunately was vandalised, rendering it unsafe to remain. It's a little disquieting to realise that some folks find it entertaining to damage something that has been there for decades, and might have remained for many more. Our chairperson, Ruth Baxendale, has contacted the council, who swiftly assured us that there is no money for replacing park furniture. But our Park Ranger, Garry Meyer, is working on a replacement made from red oak, which hopefully will be ready early next year, for our installation work day. Our thanks to Garry for taking this initiative.
The second incident was the visit of three homeless folks who tried to take shelter in the woodland, under tents and blankets. Many visitors will have seen the encampment, which was present for over a week, while the weather was particularly poor. They didn't stay long, and encouraged by the local authorities we understood they have been repatriated to their home country. Apparently the Park Rangers are having to deal with more and more of these incidents each year, which, of course, take up their time, taking them away from the regular duties of managing our park areas.
It's hard to imagine the desperation felt by folks who must resort to sleeping in our park spaces in winter. Let's hope 2017 brings less desperation, and a new bench.
Friends of Three Cornered Copse