Three Cornered Copse

Update March 2020
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Update for 'Hove Park Living' magazine
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse
March 2020


The interesting, and rather obvious, thing about a woodland, such as Three Cornered Copse, is that it is constantly changing. A walk each week along the same path will provide a different experience each time. There are agents of change at work.

Snowdrops on the floor of Three Cornered Copse
Snowdrops on the floor of Three Cornered Copse

The weather has been a powerful agent of change in recent weeks. The February winds took down several branches from the less healthy trees, and half the height of one tall beech, which currently blocks the main path. With a diameter of over 12 inches, there was probably 2 tons of hardwood falling to the path on that day. Woodlands are not always a good place to be in a violent storm.

The council's contractors were in the copse in February, and removed a few vulnerable trees and branches that were threatening to fall. Fortunately this was shortly before the storms Ciara and Dennis breezed through. The huge tree carcasses that lay on the floor will remain for many years now, providing habitat for the fungus and insects at the start of the food chain. These days one can hear the woodpeckers at work, drilling to feed on the grubs in the decaying wood.

A recent audit of our planting projects shows that in this winter the Friends group has planted, across several of our workdays, no less than 14 different species of native trees and shrubs, ranging from Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) to Wayfaring (Viburnum lantana). All designed to host caterpillars, and provide shelter and food for distinct species of our threatened insects. (For more details of our native species planting, please see our Facebook page). We await the budding and blossoming of these young saplings as the Spring develops. Several years ago we also planted a large number of snowdrop bulbs among the trees at the north of the woodland, kindly donated by one of our members. They have established over the years, and multiplied, and now provide a wonderful spectacle in the early months of the year.

Our most recent workday re-claimed some of the green space at the south end of the grassy area. Over the years the trees cast shade on the area and the nettles and brambles move in to cover the space. It's the ideal time to clear, before the birds start nesting and the weeds begin to sprout. The area is now free for the mower to operate and keep the weeds at bay.

More news on our upcoming workdays in 2020 next time. As always, all are welcome.

Simon Baxendale