I’ve just returned from a trip to Norfolk. To be more precise, the North Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – staying at Stiffkey (pronounced as ‘Stewkey‘), near Wells-next-the-Sea, and exploring the area with Walking Women (women’s walking and activity holidays).
And I have indeed spent a delightful four days with a lovely group of women and a great guide, exploring this atmospheric stretch of coast that abounds with wildlife; the birds are very abundant, and we also discovered flora and fauna – highlights were avocets, hare, muntjac and, my favourite, the seals at Blackeney Point seen from a boat.
And of course, any trip away is an opportunity to spot monkey puzzle trees. The East region (as defined by our selected postcode areas) is fairly poorly represented on the catalogue, covering postcode areas CB, CO, DE, DN, IP, LE, NG, NR, PE, S – as shown on the map below. (The white squares indicate postcode areas where no monkeys have been catalogued).
Driving to Norfolk along the A17 I thought I spotted a couple near Wigtoft… the landscape is very flat and contains conifers so it’s easy to be misled by a ‘familiar’ looking shape in the distance….
I look this up on Google when I get home, but can’t find any MPT trees here. So my NR finds begin in the delightfully named village of Brancaster Staithe.
Further along in Holkham on the A149, I screech to a halt with a multiple sighting.
I spot these as evening is arriving, the light is not ideal for a great photograph. They are in the grounds of ‘Park House’, no doubt part of the Holkham estate – home of the Earl of Leicester (the brick wall goes on for miles). ‘Holkham Enterprises’ manage the sand dunes and pinewoods over a large area here, and very magnanimously allow ‘us’, the public, access to the land for a mere £6.50 a day parking fee (as I discover when we return here later in my trip, although fortunately we have got the bus so there is no parking charge). I arrive at Wells as the sun is setting but find my final two trees of the day in Mill Road.
Surely a perfect example of, ‘Oo I really like that big tree just down the road, let’s plant one of our own.’ I like to think so anyway! The next day as we make our way to the bus stop I spot this tree in the village.
No further sightings on the Norfolk trip, but most of the time we were in marshes or sand dunes so hadn’t expected an abundance of monkeys. But delighted to see the NR catalogue established and here is the NR map:
And there’s more….. driving home from Norfolk I spotted a big tree from the A1 near Doncaster, already catalogued as DN5, whilst looking for it on Google I found a neighbouring tree DN6. And whilst I’ve been away Agents Jane and Philip have still been keeping their eyes peeled. Up in north Liverpool Jane spotted two trees in Bluebell Woods, which are in the grounds of Aintree Hospital – they are L105 and L106 – looking forward to visiting myself.
These are great additions to the Liverpool collection which recently increased with another find in Huyton – L104. (L catalogue is still the only postcode area to contain over 100 trees, but CH is catching up!). Agent Philip over on the Wirral – responsible for many CH trees – has been busy as usual. Latest finds are CH82, CH83, CH84, CH85, CH86 and CH87. I particularly liked the photo of CH86, which has been taken in street lighting, proving Agent Philip’s dedication to hunting as he even does it during twilight hours!
Although his ‘home’ patch is CH, Agent Philip is doing very well elsewhere, and he found a clutch in CW in the village of Goostrey – CW23, CW24, CW25 and CW26, and another near Crewe on the A534 – CW27, and another in Hankelow – CW28. From Twitter – through Philip – I received LL19 at Gwrych Castle grounds in Abergele, thanks to Andrew McCavish for that. Also through Agent Philip I’ve received a number of trees from Tim Johnson in Leeds – first of all BD1 in Cleckheaton, so thanks, a first for ‘BD’ catalogue. Tim has also sent one in Gomersal – BD2, saying there was another behind him – BD3, and now sent another one – BD4 – which also features his monkey hunting assistant – Barney the labrador.
Good work, thanks Tim and Barney! This is what ‘your’ bit of the world is looking like in monkey map terms… still plenty of places to explore.
By the way, Barney is not the only canine monkey hunter – you may recall we have two delightful doglets in Angus, Edwin and Hubble, who regularly get their owners to send in photos (on their behalf). This is the monkey hunting duo with their own monkey puzzle tree ‘Fluffy’:
Meanwhile, Victoria in London, has found another park monkey puzzle tree, this time in Battersea Park – SW3. Victoria found the trees in Victoria Park – E1-E3 – and Agent Green added a larger fourth tree in the park from his collection – E4.
And finally, an international addition, our first from New Zealand, again thanks to Agent Philip for this:
So, good work everyone. And keep your eyes peeled. Catalogue now at 1,041.