Three Cornered Copse

Update June 2022
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Update for 'The Hovarian' magazine
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse
June 2022

Three Cornered Copse at its Best

Despite the recent Ash dieback surgery, and the storm Eunice damage, Three Cornered Copse has put on a spectacular Spring display, as it recovers.

Spring in the Copse
Spring in the Copse

The Cow Parsley is shoulder high, and covering much of the forest floor, before the tree canopy thickens and darkens, and takes the light from the vegetation growing beneath. For now, the fresh green new growth barely filters the sunshine, and the Cow Parsley is bathed in light as it grows. The woodland paths are dry, and baked hard as concrete, thanks to the dry Spring. It's probably the best time of year to walk in this strip of woodland on the edge of the South Downs.

But there also plenty of woodchips from the felled Ash trees along the path and in several areas this has prevented any growth. The woodchips will take up to four years to decompose and return to dust, so it seems we're stuck with them for some time. At least they may help keep the paths open during the muddy months.

We had one final visit from the contractors in mid May, which caused some consternation in the Friends group since this was in the middle of nesting season. But we were reassured that this was just one day to finish the work, and we're told, by the Ash Dieback project manager, that all of the work is now complete. The next phase of course is the re-planting, to replace the trees that were lost, and fill in some of the areas that were cleared. We will be in conversation with the project manager and the park rangers to make sure that this is carried out. It will be interesting to learn what species would be appropriate to grow for the next 30 years or so.

One of our less considerate visitors to Three Cornered Copse recently decided to leave a motor scooter at the bottom of the grassy area. Unfortunately they also decided to set fire to the vehicle, and our members spent some time harrying the park rangers to clear it away. To their credit, they responded quite quickly, but there now remains a burned patch, which will need our help to recover.

Three Cornered Copse is looking at its best at this time of year, the next time you wander through the copse, remember to play “spot the Ash tree”. It's quite a tricky game.

Simon Baxendale