Three Cornered Copse

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

Autumn in the Copse

Autumn colours dominate Hove's largest woodland this month. The brown and bronze leaves of the beech trees decorate the fringes of Three Cornered Copse. Mushrooms and toadstools are sprouting in clumps on the forest floor, while hundreds (literally) of squirrels tease the visiting dogs while they bury their fruit and nuts in the soft ground.

mushrooms and toadstools sprouting in clumps

It is very soft ground at the moment, and pretty muddy too. Especially where the council's contractors have churned over the grass while removing the diseased ash tree corpses which were stored at the top of the copse alongside Dyke Road Avenue. (It turns out that the felled ash wood trunks from Coney Woods were also stored here for most of the year.)

Despite the mud and the rain, on a rare bright Saturday in November, the committee of the Friends of Three Cornered Copse met in the copse and spent an hour or so tidying up some of the trees and shrub saplings which were planted last year. A good deal of the planted whips were lost to the spring drought last year, or had been damaged by passing traffic, leaving the collars lying on the ground. Some of the shoots had been attacked by invertebrates. The collars and plastic ties were removed from the failed whips, reassuringly an estimated 60% of the shrubs have taken and flourished; we look forward to seeing them thriving next year.

We were joined by our local councillor Emma Hogan who rolled her sleeves up and lent her help to our work. It’s gratifying to have support from the councillors once again.

Storm Ciarán left its mark on the copse in October. Several of the mid-size trees had fallen across the paths, but more significantly the twitten between Woodland Drive and Woodland Avenue is blocked by a fallen brick wall and fence panels from the adjoining house on Woodland Drive. The council were swift to close it for safety reasons, we hope the repairs are equally swift, to restore this frequently used right of way. The detour is significant.

It’s unlikely the climate will cause the cold winter weather of earlier years to return this Christmas, to provide the sledging and snowball scenes in the copse we like to see, but despite this, it’s still a good place to walk in winter.

Have a very merry and peaceful Christmas, from all of the Friends of Three Cornered Copse.

Simon Baxendale