Three Cornered Copse

Update August 2021
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Update for 'The Hovarian' magazine
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse
August 2021

Copse management

It's been a great summer. For weeds, that is. Those of us who are lucky enough to have a garden have reported that weeding has been a significant chore over the past weeks, thanks to the heavy rainfall in May and June, the peak growing season.

tree stump

But if you want to see thistles over six feet tall and bramble branches as thick as pork Sausages, you need to walk through Three Cornered Copse.

Usually in July, the ground is baked as hard as concrete and the grass is starting to wear, but this year, there is mud in places and the vegetation is growing thick and fast. This means work for the gardeners, namely the Friends of Three Cornered Copse.

But the way the council are working these parks is changing. There are currently eight park rangers for the Cityparks department, and at least 25 Friends groups who work in, and care for, the green areas of the city. The Cityparks budget is being cut each year as central government funding reduces, which means that there is a greater reliance on volunteer groups in the city, to pick up some of the tasks that rangers would normally perform. Previously our work days would be led by a park ranger, but they are spread too thinly across each green space and have other duties added to their workload.

With this in mind, two of our committee attended a training course to take over the leadership of work days. The course was called “Leadership For Conservation Volunteers”, and we spent a day at Stanmer Park with the rangers. We learned about risk assessment, emergency procedures (where would an air ambulance land in Three Cornered Copse?), and how to work with tools we would use to tackle the tasks our group need to perform. For example, using a mattock when wearing flip-flops is not a good thing to do...

This allows us some autonomy in setting work days and operating in the copse without the presence of the ranger, but we still remain covered by the council's insurance and guidance.

The next work day will be a little different, and will be led by one of the volunteers, but all will be welcome, as usual. Look out for announcements on our website or ask to be put on our mailing list by contacting

Simon Baxendale