Three Cornered Copse

Update April 2024
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Update for 'The Hovarian' magazine
from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse
April 2024

Frustration and thistles

At the time of writing, it has been 115 days since the storm brought down the wall next to the twitten on Woodland Drive, which was subsequently closed by our diligent council officials.

Spear Thistles (Cirsium vulgare)

Despite several promises of progress there is still no sign of activity to fix the wall and re-open the path, so access to Three Cornered Copse from the southern perimeter is still only by using the lane on Goldstone Crescent. What looked like a job for a couple of hours for two men and a wheelbarrow has now acquired a project magnitude which could rival HS2 or the Channel Tunnel. Without any date to commence the works, we remain frustrated and pessimistic of the twitten re-opening before the Spring finishes.

For those of us that have managed to visit the copse, there is still plenty to see at this exciting time of year. The snowdrops have come and gone. and the daffodils are carpeting the bund alongside Dyke Road Avenue once again. Some bulbs also appear in clumps along the path running along the back of Woodland Avenue, somehow mysteriously migrating from the gardens, and taking root. It's been a very muddy season, the wettest February, our weather journalists tell us, so walking there is only for the sure-footed, until the drier weather does its work.

One of our members has noted some large Spear Thistles appearing in the edge of the grass areas at the north end of the copse. Some of them have reached 40cm in diameter, and are spectacular spiky explosions, like some green, natural Mandelbrot set erupting from the grass. Spear Thistles (Cirsium vulgare) often appear in disturbed ground such as roadside hedges and the edges of parkland. (Interestingly the gas engineers were churning up the ground in this area last summer.) They're usually regarded as a weed by gardeners, but the seeds provide food for birds, finches in particular, and the pink flowers are a nectar source for butterflies.

We have a work day planned for Saturday April 6th at 10am, all welcome. Please see our web pages for details. Sturdy waterproof shoes are essential, with a good pair of thick gardening gloves. Our ranger has promised to bring tools and tackle; there's much to do, even if it's just picking up litter, or spotting thistles.

Simon Baxendale