Three Cornered Copse

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Minutes     Three Cornered Copse AGM 2023

Date:                   15 August 2023
Time: 7 pm
Location:The Poets Ale and Smokehouse
Attended by:Kevin Potter, Helena Potter, Sue Batey, Steven Batey, Helen Varley, Ruth Baxendale, Simon Baxendale
Chair:Kevin Potter
Minutes:Simon Baxendale

Apologies for Absence: Matt Duffell

Subject: Three Cornered Copse Annual General Meeting

Matters Arising from previous AGM

The minutes from the last AGM of August 2022 were read and approved

Chairmans Report

The Ash Dieback activity has been the major impact on the copse in the previous year with major disruption to the woodland, the removal of hundreds of trees and the planting of many saplings to replace the lost vegetation. We’ve had disappointing contact with the Cityparks department and the contractors executing the wood removal. There has been much damage to the vegetation and the grass with the heavy plant coming and going.

The re-planting has been slightly successful but many of the new whips planted by the volunteer group, and the Friends of Three Cornered Copse, have struggled in the dry summer. On the bright side it should lead to a more diverse vegetation, many native species have been planted and several are thriving. Many of the remaining Ash stumps have sprouted and are quite tall now.

The City Parks department have been gradually dis-engaging with the group through the year. Our allocated ranger Neil Doyle, announced he was being re-allocated to other parts of Brighton, and that he would be replaced with Emma Keane, who immediately announced she could devote zero time to Three Cornered Copse.

Despite this we have huge support from the volunteers who help at our workdays. Every person that comes along is very enthusiastic and eager to help improve this valuable green space. Meanwhile the Cityparks department avoid and do very little.

Our facebook page has 383 followers and our regular email list (the Friends Group) has 101 members. The website is visited, many hits a week, clearly there is community interest in the welfare of Three Cornered Copse.

We have lost contact with our previously supportive councillors, Vanessa Brown and Jayne Bennet. We should re-connect with the new team that have been elected to our ward.

Thanks are due to the following:

– David Botibol, for the website maintenance;
– Matt Duffell, as treasurer for looking after the funds;
– Simon Baxendale, for his phenomenal articles in The Hovarian
– Ruth, for procuring, and providing all refreshments on the workdays

Kevin Potter as Chairman, will be resigning, and is thanked for his service to the group.

Treasurers Report

Balance carried over from 2022 1167.50
Expenditure to date 35.74
Donations to date 0
No membership has been charged during this time.
Current balance 1131.76

Election of Officers

Kevin Potter resigned as Chairman, Simon Baxendale elected as Chairman in his stead.

Other Officers re-elected and remain in place.

AOB and General Discussion

General discussion about the status of the Toads Hole Valley plan and why it has appeared to stall.

The Southern lane into the Copse seems to be particularly overgrown this year and needs some pruning and cutting back.

There are a few alleged fly-tipping incidents which need addressing. Residents whose properties back on to the Copse seem to use the park as a dumping ground, Several incidents are under observation and some have been reported.

The lack of support from Cityparks department poses an existential threat to The Friends of Three Cornered Copse. Without an allocated ranger, and councillor support we are much less effective and risk squandering the goodwill of the volunteers who appear to help maintain Hove’s precious woodland resource.

There is a need to keep in contact with the Ash Dieback team, Christopher Sumner, to understand what they plan to do in the Copse, and when they are going to move the huge wood store on Dyke Road Avenue.

There are many areas for attention in the Copse.-

  • Top notice board area needs clearing
  • The silver birches are being strangled by weeds and brambles
  • The commemorative trees and plaques need maintenance
  • The top bridle path is completely overgrown.
  • Litter picking is ubiquitous and constant

Minutes by Simon Baxendale