Three Cornered Copse

Update August 2023
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Update for 'The Hovarian' magazine
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse
August 2023

The Flourishing Copse

In the last update from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse I mentioned the hundreds of young trees that were doing well after the planting and the wet spring. Then came one of the driest May and Junes since 1976.

A recent inspection showed that nearly half of the trees planted were struggling, just due to the lack of water, but thankfully some rainfall in July was beginning to help the remaining population. One of the rangers told us, when we were planting, that we should expect only about 40% of the whips to take hold and flourish, and it seems that this is where we are heading, thanks to the summer we are having.

The surviving trees
The surviving trees
  A wall of timber
A wall of timber
However, it seems the drought doesn't seem to affect the brambles and nettles in the copse, as they have taken over some of the paths. The two most common wild flowers in the UK are doing extremely well, and are now blocking the bridle path and several other pathways. There is only one bridle path in the copse, which runs along the north side of the wood, along the backs of the gardens on Woodland Avenue. It used to be the route for the horses stabled in Goldstone Valley to climb up to the South Downs, many years ago. Clearing the path will be one of the first tasks for our new Park Ranger, as we have been re-assigned, saying farewell to Neil, who moves areas to East Brighton and greeting Emma, who takes over this month.

We're keeping in touch with the Ash Dieback team in the Cityparks department, who control the contractors tasked with clearing the woods of the diseased wood. Recent visitors to the top of the copse will have seen a huge woodpile waiting to be collected and disposed. This wall of timber is stacked on the edge of Dyke Road Avenue and may be impacting the hedging on that side. We have been assured that any damage to the shrubs will be rectified. There still remains a good deal of timber left in the woodland, and we'll be seeking information on the plans to deal with this.

But at least there seems to be the promise of a good crop of blackberries this year at the end of the summer, thanks to the flourishing brambles. Good foraging everyone!

Simon Baxendale