One of the great delights on monkey hunting is the contact I have from fellow enthusiasts – in fact, some would call us eccentric, which I don’t mind at all! The fervour with which I describe my passion and dedication to ‘the catalogue’ will often engage people who didn’t even know about monkey puzzle trees – or at least weren’t ‘aware’ of them. This recently resulted in one of the funeral arrangers I work with adding to the collection – making Liverpool the ‘top monkey’ – with 100 in the L database. And the great thing about having others getting inspired means that the catalogue will grow as others around the country, and the world, either spot monkeys on their travels, or intentionally go out hunting them.
Now, for those special people who show dedication and commitment to the task of monkey hunting in support of the ‘Monkey Map’, they are awarded the special status of ‘Agent’. I have a growing network of Agents now based in Liverpool, Hereford, Wirral, Shropshire, Birmingham, the Midlands, SE London, York, Arbroath, Inverness, and of course anywhere they travel to. As well as the Agents there are various contacts through Twitter who spot monkeys or have shared their monkey collections with me. As a result new additions to the catalogue arrive on a regular basis, giving me plenty of monkeys to fill my ‘spare’ time, usually at the weekend, when I am ‘monkeying’.
It is a great joy to me – as a cataloguer – to neatly file the monkeys on ‘monkey central’ (the database), and then add them to the interactive catalogue – here. I’m also in the process of putting every individual monkey on a Google map – the live link will mean you can zoom into any area and click the red dots to see a photo of the tree at a specific location. This is a screen shot, for example, of what HR is looking like:
This is currently a work in progress. As we now have over 900 monkeys in 80 postcode areas (there are 125 postcode areas in the UK), this is not an inconsiderable task, and I look forward to launching the finished version.
In the meantime, I am delighted to welcome a new Agent to the team. Welcome Agent Green (yes that is his real name), and he is based in London. Agent Green describes himself as a ‘massive monkey puzzle tree fan’, had already set himself a personal aim: ‘One man’s quest to see as many Monkey Puzzle trees as humanly possible.’ You can find his blog here. So a slightly different aim than my own – although I would be delighted to actually physically visit every monkey in the Monkey Map that would take a lot of time, I am happy enough for others to add them to this central database.
Agent Green has very kindly let me include all his finds on the database and is now cataloguing ‘his’ trees using the same catalogue references that I generate – which is the letter from their postcode location and a sequential number. So, thanks to Agent Green I’ve been able to add 44 new monkeys to the database, and because he is located in London he is operating north of the river and an excellent addition to Agent Dragonblaze and Agent Millwall MPT south of the river. Agent Green’s monkeys are now all on the interactive catalogue:
Agent Green’s finds range from all over north and west London, to Kent, and Bournemouth, and with his passion for monkeys I know he will add to the catalogue. I discover from Agent Green that there are 15 monkeys at Kew Gardens. TW1 was included in Matthew’s monkeys, but the rest are new finds:
And at the end of a hard day’s monkey spotting, Agent Green can be found in his favourite pub, where else? Cheers!
So, I’d like to welcome Agent Green to this lovely community of monkey puzzle fans, and happy hunting everyone!