Three Cornered Copse

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

Saving the trees

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into Three Cornered Copse, the contractors arrive again.

the Copse in full leaf

Last month it was to address the scourge of our countryside, Dutch elm disease, which had been found in some of the trees in the lower part of the woods.

The "disease" is actually a fungus, spread by the elm bark beetle. Brighton and Hove is actually a resistant enclave of the fungus, still having a population of some 17,000 elms. The unique geography of our city helps limit transmission since the beetle doesn't travel easily over the South Downs, and when it arrives it finds the salty winds from the sea rather inhospitable.

The council has an active programme to limit the spread, which unfortunately means ringing the trunk or removing completely. And this fate was applied upon several trees in the copse. In addition, a trench was dug across the woodland at the twitten. This was to prevent the beetles passing the fungus between touching tree roots. Hopefully these actions will preserve the remaining elms in the copse. We've lost far too many trees this year as it is. (Incidentally, we shouldn't blame the Dutch for the fungus, it is so-called because a great deal of the discovery work was performed by Dutch scientists in the 1920s.)

In recent weeks dog walkers at the top of the copse may have encountered a pile of white bread baguettes, which are often left in the bushes in the same place each day. The dogs, of course, are delighted to find some free food available, despite it not being too good for them. Unfortunately this is also a food source for a nearby rat colony, living under the fence at Woodland Court. (Pest exterminators are involved.) There's no shortage of food available for the birds and small mammals of Three Cornered Copse at this time of year, so the bread donation is probably not a great idea. Please intercept any suspicious baguette-bearing visitors (if it's safe to do so).

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Three Cornered Copse has been scheduled for this month, and will take place at the Poets Ale and Smokehouse, on Montgomery Street in Hove, on Tuesday 9th August at 7pm. We will be in their upstairs meeting room. Thanks to the pandemic, it's been a while since the last one, so it's long overdue.

Simon Baxendale