Three Cornered Copse

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

The false autumn?

While there is no proven link between global warming and this year's dry conditions, at the end of August and early September, the news media had several stories about the "false" autumn, which saw trees turning brown and shedding their leaves a month or so earlier than normal. Berries and seeds appeared early too.

trees turning brown

Plants need water to photosynthesise, and when there is a dry spell, they begin to shed leaves to ensure their survival in the harsh conditions. Three Cornered Copse is not immune from this effect, and visitors have remarked on the tree colour, particularly evident on the edges of the woodland. The interior of a wood is often a few degrees cooler, because of the shade and the leaf canopy shielding plants from the glare of the hot sun.

Our work days are beginning to be scheduled again. But they are a little different these days. Before Covid, and the council funding cutbacks, we could rely on the time of a dedicated Park Ranger arriving with the council truck and the tools to help maintain the woodland. These days the Friends are very much on their own, with our own equipment and resources. However, on our last work day (one of the hottest of the summer), we were reinforced by eight members of the parks department's volunteer group, plus our ranger, Neil.

The team stripped the brambles and weeds from the newly planted trees on the Dyke Road Avenue border, and mulched the saplings to trap moisture. The well-used perch bench was repaired, and one of the older benches was released from the encroaching brambles, rendering it usable once more. The bridle path which runs along the north edge of the copse had become overgrown; the team cleared the brambles and made it passable once again, and a few fallen trees were cleared. Many thanks to Neil and the volunteer group for managing the work on such a sweltering day. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for news of our next work days.

It's gratifying to see the stumps of the recently culled ash trees starting to sprout branches: some are now stretching to eight or nine feet high. Perhaps eventually we should have a significant ash population returning to Three Cornered Copse. As the scientist Dr Malcolm says in Jurassic Park, "life (uh) finds a way".

Simon Baxendale