NEW TREES IN THE COPSE
The last two work days for the Friends saw our group planting 400 trees in the copse, to form new hedges along the northern border of the area.
The trees were available free as part of the national "I Dig Trees" programme, which is run in partnership with OVO energy and TCV. TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) are a charity dedicated to improving lives and health, by improving community spaces for people, and other practical solutions.
We gratefully accepted the donation of 400 hedging whips, but they needed a bit of planting. Thankfully, some soft topsoil and a strimming preparation from our ranger Garry, helped to ease the work, and despite the chilly conditions (5 degrees C), and helped by a large turnout, we finished in a reasonable time.
The whips are a native mix designed to support wildlife. The mix is†Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Common Dogwood and Goat Willow. Canes and protective sleeves are also provided to ensure the plants get a good start. After the plants are established (we expect one in three to survive), we will of course remove the non-native plastic and canes from the area. This natural mix in the hedge will promote nesting of native song birds, insect and flora diversity. The hedge will also provide a natural noise barrier from the busy Dyke Road Avenue traffic.
The I Dig Trees programme planted a staggering 250,000 trees last year. Surprisingly, the UK is one of the least wooded areas of Europe, according to The Woodland Trust, with only 13% of our area being wooded, compared to 37% for European countries. Interestingly, the 13% is considerably more than the last century. Our planting projects, mainly by the Forestry Commission, seem to be having an effect. We're still a long way from the mythical fact of a squirrel being able to cross England, in mediaeval times, without touching the ground, in pre-agricultural times, of course. (This fact has been employed in other geographies too).
January is a quiet time for the copse, and for our group. The work days will be few, the weather will be wet or cold, or both. We will, however, begin collecting subscriptions from our many valued members. A price of £3 per household, or £2 per individual, keeps us going with web site fees and materials to keep our work going in the copse. Please see http://www.threecorneredcopse.org.uk/contact.htm if you'd like to join our small group.
Happy New Year!