Municipal monkeys and more

Yes, it’s only a week since my May update, and here I am again with yet another ‘batch’ of monkeys added to the catalogue.

Strangely, there are no monkeys yet in ‘M’, the Manchester postcode, which is odd, I’m sure there must be plenty of trees there. I thought we’d got our first M, but no, this tree in Chadderton was spotted by Ronnie on the way to Leeds on the coach, and turns out it’s just on the border and is in OL, so OL1.

OL1 from front seat of 060, thanks to @SewLittleToSay

OL1 from front seat of 060, thanks to @SewLittleToSay

And talking of Leeds… Ronnie had a very productive stay in Leeds, obviously he wasn’t there to find monkey puzzle trees, but he’s always got his eyes peeled. Ronnie spotted our first Leeds monkeys at the end of Eastgate, and turns out there’s a whole load more down that end of the city by the Playhouse and the bus station, Ronnie counted another 20. These are some of the clutch at that end of town:

LS69 to LS76

LS69 to LS76

And some more:

LS77 to LS86

LS77 to LS86

It’s really interesting to see these trees used in such quantities as a municipal planting. Someone in ‘municipal planting’ in Leeds must like them! As there’s a whole bunch more over at the other end of the city around the A58 roundabout. Agent Gemma had already spotted these, and I’d counted 25 trees from her images. But Ronnie has risked life and limb crossing several dual carriageways to bring me the news that there are another 30 trees there.

LS38 and LS39

LS38 and LS39

LS41 to LS48 visible from Hotel Ibis.

LS41 to LS48 visible from Hotel Ibis.

LS49 and LS50

LS49 and LS50

Leeds cluster 1 - 14

LS51 ot LS68 in addition to LS4 to LS14

Leeds cluster 1 - 17

So, Ronnie found an additional 50 trees in total in Leeds, meaning almost the ‘most monkey puzzle trees in one day’ find. Agent Simon holds that honour with his 67 trees found in SY. I can’t help but wonder who is responsible for all this planting. And monkey puzzle trees aren’t a cheap plant, so this is quite an investment. And it looks lovely. It also puts the LS catalogue at 88 trees. Well done Leeds!

Also in Leeds, Steve Hoey must be making a bid for Agent status… he’s sent me two more trees from his cycling around the city – LS36 and LS37. Thanks Steve.

I’ve been up in Silverdale and Arnside last weekend on a Walking Women holiday with Madeline Holloway, a terrific nature guide. This area is somewhere I’ve wanted to explore for a while and this was a great way to do it.

Morecambe Bay from Park Point

Morecambe Bay from Park Point

Early morning at RSPB Leighton Moss

Early morning at RSPB Leighton Moss

Great walking, but also great for birds and wildflowers:

Horseshoe vetch

Horseshoe vetch, which likes dry limestone habitats

Buttercup meadow

Buttercup meadow

I could carry on with the wildflowers – germander speedwell, bugle, milkwort, purple orchids, and more. A delight. I hadn’t expected it, but it was good monkey hunting as well.

LA26 and LA27, Arnside

LA26 and LA27, Arnside

LA28 at Challan Hall with field of red campion

LA28 at Challan Hall with field of red campion

And there were plenty more in the area – LA24 at Yealand Redmayne, LA25 at Scot Cragg Caravan Park, LA29 in Arnside. Driving home I took a scenic route finding LA30 in Sandside, LA31 in Bolton le Sands, LA32 at Hest Bank, several in Heysham – LA33, LA34, LA35, and two in Lancaster LA36, and the sadly de-crowned LA37 two doors away. Sadly this was my last monkey puzzle hunting trip in my trusty red Fiesta. Yesterday in Liverpool a 40tonne Volvo truck drove into me, which was terrifying as it happened on a dual carriageway flyover. So my day came to an abrupt end in an ambulance, and now it looks most likely that my car is about to be written off. Fortunately I appear not seriously injured but very shocked, and now I ache all over. I have spent all day today at home cataloguing the last batch of monkeys, and am very grateful for the monkeys for distraction.

Over in Snowdonia, Robbie has been keeping an eye out, despite the rain, sending me three additions to the LL catalogue – LL21 at Bro Garmon, LL22 at Manod, and LL23 at Betws-y-coed, almost hidden right next to LL20. Thanks Robbie.

LL22 in wet Wales

LL22 in wet Wales

Thanks to Robbie’s article in the Guardian recently, I am continuing to get plenty of visitors to the blog, and it’s lovely to receive emails from enthusiastic monkey fans. Duncan wrote in from the NE area having seen one of his favourite trees on the blog. He also asked if he might grow seedlings – and the answer is a definite ‘yes’! And Isobel, up in Scotland, has done just that:

Isobel Glenelg's collection of seedling monkey puzzles

Isobel Glenelg’s collection of seedling monkey puzzles

Tamsin from Stockton Bury gardens wrote to tell me how excited she was to find the blog. ‘Their’ monkey puzzle tree at the gardens was planted in about 1854 by her great, great grandfather. Amazing to know that fact. And she says, ‘We are very proud of the tree and love it with a passion.’ The tree is already catalogued as HR58, but Tamsin is going to send me one of her images.

Meanwhile Sophie continued her exploration of Bute, and there’s another tree here – PA21.

The divine doglets, Edwin and Hubble up in Scotland, continue to keep their owner on the lookout for trees while they are out on walks. Their latest DD finds are at Balgay Park, in the cemetery there. DD22, DD23 and DD24. The cemetery looks really lovely and atmospheric:

DD23 Balgay Cemetery

DD23 Balgay Cemetery

And as Edwin and Hubble told me (yes they can speak, it really is amazing), there are probably more there too – so if they don’t find them perhaps you will?

Liz Horton (no relation, at least not that I know of) sent a very fine photograph of a tree at Castle Fraser Estate, Inverurie, with a gorgeous copper beech tree.

AB2 Castle Fraser Estate, Inverurie and copper beech

AB2 Castle Fraser Estate, Inverurie and copper beech

From Guernsey we have our first two monkey puzzles – plus ‘Bill and Ben’ garden ornaments. Nice! Thanks to @guernseylib who tells me that ‘people in Guernsey must love them as there are loads here’, so I look forward to featuring more Guernsey monkeys.

CD Guernsey pair2

The inclusion of Guernsey posed a cataloguing question for me. Does Guernsey have a postcode? Well, sort of. The Crown dependencies of the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey have postcodes of IM, JE and GY – so I have catalogued them as such, but not included them in the UK postcode numbers. For fans of postcodes who appreciate details, there are 121 postcodes in the UK, and the catalogue contains trees in 94 of them.

Agent Simon has secured his place as ‘top’ postcode area in SY sending several more trees there, making the SY catalogue 123. The CH catalogue is not far behind with 120 trees in the catalogue from diligent Agent Philip assisted by Lindsey, and Philip’s sister recently appointed Agent Anita. Well done. Agent Simon’s finds in SY (and TF) are SY118, SY119, SY120, SY121, SY122, SY123 and TF18. And from the CH team, their finds are CH117, CH118, CH119 and CH120. I must show you CH118, the use of garden ornaments is quite something – both around the tree but also in the far end of the garden too!

CH118

CH118

And some final ‘international’ monkeys with four in Brussels from Sophie, in the appropriately named Avenue de l’Araucaria – tres bonne!

INT Avenue de l Araucaria Brussels Sophie

So we now have 1,341 monkeys in the catalogue. Thanks everyone. Good work.

*

This ‘Monkey Map’ project is a personal project and the work of me, Sarah Horton. I am helped by my task of cataloguing all monkeys by keen monkey puzzle hunters who also do this in their free time. It is a work of personal passion and brings me great joy. Thank you everyone for your support. 

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