Autumn in the Copse
Our plans for the first scheduled work day for the Friends of Three Cornered Copse (since the first lockdown) were enthusiastically received last month, and a hand-picked elite band of six volunteers were nominated to clear paths, move fallen branches, check planted shrubs, all self-tooled and operating within social distance guidelines.
With cruel coincidence, the selected date was November the fifth, the first day of Lockdown 2.0, as it is known. So no work day.
The housekeeping of Three Cornered Copse remains un-started as we wait for the Lifting of social restrictions. In the meantime. autumn has definitely arrived, bringing the fabulous colours of beech trees and of course, the mud. A particularly wet November has rendered several of the paths only navigable by the more sure-footed of our visitors.
The plans of the Toads Hole Valley development, recently published with amendments. may have a solution to the mud problem. One of our members has spotted proposals for the "Provision and improvement of pedestrian and cycle access through Three Cornered Copse (may include the provision of hot rolled asphalt surfacing) to improve sustainable access to and from the Development" The purpose is to provide a path for cyclists and pedestrians from the top of the copse down to Hove Park, so our new neighbours in Toads Hole Valley can quickly access its facilities "providing opportunities for exercise". This is explained as an alternative to providing "sport/recreation" on the Toads Hole Valley site.
There's also a proposal to provide a path across the corner at the top of the copse between Dyke Road Avenue and King George VI Avenue. Details can be found in the documents on the planning website. (Look for the document titled BH2018_03633-ElIA_MITIGATION_-_SUMMARY_OF __CHANGES_TO_SCHEME-15908759.pdf)
We have lived with several plans to build paths through the copse over the years, but none have actually materialised, presumably for budget reasons. At one point there was a clearly defined bridle path through the woods, for horses to use, but this has become overgrown and is quite narrow in places. Whether the new proposals will be accepted remains to be seen. Certainly controversial, for there are those that view the copse as a precious wild green space at the edge of our city, that should have no kind of development of this type.
As the end of the year approaches, we hope for some bright cold days to have our final work day for 2020. Have a very peaceful Christmas, from The Friends of Three Cornered Copse.