WINTER PREPARATIONS AT THREE CORNERED COPSE...
Our latest workday was on one of the first cold weekends of this year, but still we mustered together eight volunteers, plus Garry our Park Ranger (and his smart new truck), and we set about preparing Three Cornered Copse, in our small way, for the oncoming winter.
The 400 trees we planted in the spring at the top of the copse needed some maintenance; some had outgrown their plastic collars, so we removed a great many of these. Others had struggled to take and grow, but the majority looked healthy for forming a new habitat next spring for our native wildlife species.
We cleared some of the shrubs which had grown over the entrances to the copse, but there are other places that need more work in future work sessions. We picked litter, tidied up pathways, just housekeeping, and did a great deal of clearing around the coronation stone and the silver birches.
In previous years the council mower would keep a pathway open through this area, but they have decided to not use the smaller mower here. The cold weather and threatening skies hastened an earlier finish to the workday, which proved to be popular.
The bonfire night and Halloween celebrations have left a mark in a couple of areas on the grassy areas; unfortunately the damage to the grass of a small bonfire takes a year or two to recover, even with re-seeding and dressing.
If you're venturing into the copse there are still things to see. One of the stars in the vegetation is several spindle trees (Euonymus) in the copse, and at this time of year they are striking, with the foliage blossom like a dark pink popcorn. It's one of our oldest native trees, and can live to 100 years, though the ones in the copse seem much younger. In legend it was also thought that if the spindle flowered early, an outbreak of the plague was likely. Let's hope not.
We have one more workday coming up this year, on Wednesday 19th December, with a list of jobs to do. Dismantling the broken bench, planting three saplings, repairing the habitat hedge... All volunteers, old and new, are welcome. It's a tradition to have mince pies at our coffee break in the December workday. Until next year, please have a peaceful Christmas holiday, with best wishes from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse.