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An Anniversary Bonanza for the Copse

April 29, 2009 2009 Spring No Comments

Since our last newsletter, the Friends have received a significant boost to our funds thanks to the generosity of local couple, Les and Lin Edmonds.

In celebrating their 40th Wedding anniversary, they kindly decided to forgo personal presents and instead encourage their guests to donate to the Friends. As a result our coffers are now over £500 to the good.

The couple regularly walk their dog in the Copse and it is a great encouragement that they so generously wished to give something back. They hope that others may be inspired to do the same whilst celebrating some happy event!

Wild Flowers in Spring

Judi Darley

Bluebells

Bluebells in the Copse

Committee member Judi Darley asked ecology enthusiast Dr Mike Perry of the Chichester Natural History Society for his top 6 spring flowers to be seen in Brandy Hole Copse. Mike said “it’s a bit like selecting records for Desert Island Discs”! After some careful thought Mike came up with the following 6 wild flowers to look for in the Copse this spring:

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) voted Britain’s most popular wild flower in a recent Plantlife poll. The Natural History Society recently made a count of about 250,000 flowering stems in the main body of the Copse. Mike is concerned that these native bluebells are protected from the Spanish Bluebell, a species often planted in gardens and now seen along Brandy Hole Lane and by the west end entrances. Mike said “it appears to hybridise freely with the native bluebell … I’d like to see the Spanish Bluebell removed from the Copse”.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) low growing, with white flowers sometimes flushed with pink. It does very well in the sweet chestnut coppiced area, where the trees have been cut down to let the light in before they grow to maturity again.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) a stunning display of shiny bright yellow flowers, found around the edges of the ponds and in the damp area between Brandy Hole Pond and Centurion Way.

Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) low growing with violet flowers, like the sweet violet but it has no scent. This plant is important because it is the food plant for the caterpillars of the uncommon Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly.

Wild Arum (Arum maculatum) also known as Cuckoo Pint and Lords and Ladies. The large fleshy leaves appear in December and January and tiny flowers appear, surrounded by a green ‘hood’, in April-May time.

Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys) Bright blue flowers with a pure white ‘eye’, they are small but spectacular in large numbers. Mike said “I’ve included this one because it is one of my all time favourite flowers”.

Do you agree with Mike’s list? Do let us know which are your favourite spring flowers in the Copse!

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