East Hampshire district councillor Tony Costigan officially opened the Copse on the Rec on September 11. This little corner of our village has been transformed into a peaceful haven for people of all ages and for wildlife, through the efforts of volunteers in the village, financed by a grant from EDHC as well as generous donations from villagers and friends of Beech.
A professional tree surgeon felled the 30 diseased trees, leaving five trunks at 5m height for wildlife. An enthusiastic team of villagers cut up the remaining trunks and brush, and processed and removed an enormous volume of waste. Many villagers took logs for personal use. Most of the brush was left to decay naturally, and to be a home for insects and small birds.
Some 110 saplings of 10 species were then planted, staked and protected by family groups. Some trunks were left as seating, and others for children to play on – including a log castle.
All this work was done during the lockdown in winter 2020-21, by socially distanced teams and family groups. The project provided a welcome outdoor release for those who supported it, and a special camaraderie developed.
Half of the cost was met by a Section 106 grant from East Hampshire District Council, with the remainder being met by villagers in two ways – donations from those who took logs, and contributions from villagers who took the opportunity to honour their family members and friends – some, sadly, deceased – with a mention on the Roll of Dedications, which was unveiled by Cllr Costigan and will be displayed in the Village Hall.