NEW TREES IN THE COPSE
On the weekend of 3rd March the Great British Spring Clean 2018 takes place, a volunteer day organised by Keep Britain Tidy, now annually, with a simple aim: to bring people across the country together to clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and beaches. And of course, copses.
Naturally, the Friends of Three Cornered Copse will be taking up arms (bin bags and litter pickers) on that day, to clear the copse of its winter accumulation of cans, cartons, crisp packets and carrier bags.
Last year we collected 25 full bin bags of rubbish, in just a few hours, from a team of 14 volunteers. The black spots of litter are the entrances and passageways, where some frequent visitors are a little less careful with the things they discard. Also where the litter from traffic on Dyke Road Avenue is blown into the top of the woods. The collection of litter has evolved into more than just a short campaign in these recent months, particularly since the publicity of plastics pollution has fired the public conscience, helped by the episode of Blue Planet which showed the effect it is having on the environment. Keep Britain Tidy hope to mobilise 400,000 volunteers across the country on that weekend. From previous work days, it really does make a difference to the appearance of the copse. It's a great time to do this of course, because of the sparsity of greenery on the shrubs and trees.
Happily, the snowdrops that the Friends planted a few years ago have emerged again, to give a re-assuring sign that Spring is on the way. You'll find them alongside the paths in the upper woodland, at the foot of the trees. Of course paths don't always stay in the same place, when they have wandered around fallen trees and new shrub growth. Navigating the muddy paths remains a challenge as the rains refuse to subside. It has been a particularly wet year so far, unfortunately.
But the wet weather doesn't seem to affect the two Tawny Owls that have been spotted in the copse by one of our friends. On a still evening, without the tree foliage to muffle sounds, the warbled hooting of the pair can be heard echoing up and down Goldstone Valley in these winter evenings. A real bonus to show that true wildlife is abroad in this valuable green space in our city.