It’s good fun!

First of all I’d like to thank Moira in Croydon. Moira has the ‘honour’ (if indeed it is an honour) of submitting the first monkey puzzle tree from the CR postcode area and has gone on to keep her eyes peeled. She said to me this week, ‘It’s good fun!’ Yes, thank you for reminding me, this is GOOD FUN!

CR now has four finds and I’m sure with Moira on the lookout we’ll increase that. Thanks also to Moira who very diligently submits her finds using the submissions form, the preferred way for me to receive your trees as it makes things a lot easier for the admin team here at monkey central (which is me).

CR map

And so here are Moira’s finds:







My regular readers will know that as the Monkey Map has been so ‘successful’ I often find myself with huge numbers of emails, tweets and submissions to catalogue, and it can feel a bit overwhelming. I am still looking for any help with how to streamline the process, and am happy to hear from you. But it is very important to me that this project retains it’s sense of FUN, also the interaction is important, as is the role of Agents… if this project becomes ‘just’ a database then it won’t be the same. I am keeping up with all your finds adding them to the spreadsheet at the centre of the catalogue – and will add to the Google map as time permits. At the moment I’m probably not going to get time to add photos to the Google map, but all your photographs are being filed with their reference numbers.

Welcome and hello also to Wayne Roy Gonsalves in London who has joined in the hunt. Wayne sent me three trees in Watford, WD8, WD9 and WD10. My fellow blogger Agent Green who is on a mission to see as many MPTs as possible is in that area and I have sent him those details. Wayne’s also sent in a ‘LU’ find, thanks for that as you probably know Agent Green has successfully opened the LU catalogue now, and that also includes 78 trees at Knolls Wood (photos to follow). This is Wayne’s find LU8, note the geese gatepost features!



Wayne’s also been to Eastecote House Gardens in Middlesex, and then at Wisley this week (half term with his children), well spotted Wayne but have already got six from Wisley on the catalogue. Here’s Eastcote House Gardens:



Good work, thank you Wayne! Perhaps you’ll bump into Agent Green on monkey hunting duty. tweeted me this story about 40 young trees being planted at Wakehurst botanic gardens in Haywards Heath – postcode RH. Thank you – always nice to see new trees being planted.

40 newly planted trees at Wakehurst

40 newly planted trees at Wakehurst

The Wakehurst team, led by Jo Wenham, plant propagation and conservation manager, made a trip to Chile in 2009 to hunt for rare and threatened plants and came back with more than half a million seeds from 80 different species. Since then, some of the collected seeds were banked in the Millennium Seed Bank, whilst some, like the Araucaria araucana, have been propagated and were last week ready for planting by Jo and the team. They mark the start of a new Chile area situated in Coates Wood at Wakehurst, near Ardingly, which will eventually mimic a walk up a Chilean mountain with 20 more different species, also collected by the team, propagated here and planted out over the next two years.

(Update 16 March 2016 – Jo Denham has written a Kew blog piece here about he secret life of the monkey puzzle tree).

And that’s good news indeed. Sadly Agent Lindsey over on the Wirral informs me that a mature MPT in Heswall has disappeared… that’s CH20.

CH20 map

The CH catalogue is at 163 entries – mostly down to Agent Lindsey and Agent Philip, good work, but they’ve been fairly quiet lately so perhaps they have spotted all the trees on the Wirral? (I know that if you are reading this you are up for the challenge of finding more!)

And nice to hear from Agent Hoey with a couple more finds in Leeds (LS).

And Agent Naturanaute reports in with two young trees at Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, having also visited Bicton College – where there is an avenue of 63 trees, already catalogued.

EX113 and EX114

EX113 and EX114

Agent John in Fife having recently discovered that he is personally responsible for just over 8% of the current catalogue set himself the personal mission to make that 10%. He’s doing very well.

His recent hunting has resulted in two pairs in Stonehaven (AB), four various in Tayport and Newport (DD), 20 around KY including a lovely clutch he called ‘Falkland and Freuchie Five’ situated in flatlands known as the Howe of Fife, with the Lomond hills rise forming a dramatic backdrop to the quaint village and its Palace. I particularly liked this one in KY:



It’s an old maternity hospital. John tells me, ‘The place looks so sad and abandoned. It has the most fantastic views over the Eden Estuary and St Andrews.’

Amongst the KY  finds are three trees at ‘The Eden Mansion’ now a hotel. Dating from 1860, it was built as the principle house for the Haig family, Scotland’s oldest whisky distillers, from which their most notable member was 1st Earl Field Marshall Douglas Haig, who commanded the British Army in WW1. (It was Earl Haig’s wife who established the ‘Lady Haig Poppy Factory’ in Edinburgh in 1926 to produce remembrance poppies exclusively for Scotland, demand for poppies in England was so high that few were reaching Scotland. Over 5 million Scottish poppies are still made by hand by disabled ex-Servicemen at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory each year.)

KY21 to KY23

KY21 to KY23

And there are a further 33 trees in PH. In John’s quest to find an avenue of monkey puzzle trees (and who doesn’t like them?) he discovered there was an avenue at Murthly Castle. Sadly this was felled in the mid 20th century ‘due to disease’ but the estate office did sent him a photo, taken around 1890, and the same scene today, with a dusting of snow.

PH Murthly Castle

This led to John visiting the Murthly Castle Estate where he met the 14th Baron and has collected the trees there. Also of interest, especially to me as a funeral professional, is an avenue of yews leading to the chapel, and the current Baron only goes down the avenue in his coffin after he has died. He can walk down it before he inherits the title, but not after he becomes Baron. There are 13 trees at the Baron’s Castle at Murthly. Four trees in one stand planted by the 13th Baron, the current Baron’s father. And seven in another group were planted by the current Baron’s Great Uncle, to commemorate the coronation, of either Edward VIII or George VI – 1936 or 1937, and two single trees.

PH Murthly trees

And there’s more…. these trees are also in PH but in a secret location, known only to John as ‘Darkest Perthshire’. There are 18 trees, and we thank the landowners for allowing us to use these photographs.

PH darkest

So, has Agent John in Fife made the 10% mark you ask? Ah, well, it’s so close. He has now found 311 trees, as has Agent Jim in Cornwall. So that’s 9.9% each of the total catalogue of 3,156 trees. As for myself, well really I am just slacking with only 295 trees. Tut-tut, must do better.

Good work everyone. Thank you – I hope you’ve all been included on the round up, but if I’ve missed you please drop me a note and I’ll give you a shout out next time.

Please do send my your trees – please use the submissions page and I send me your finds through that form, as it keeps all the information together for me. Thanks. At the moment, you can’t send image files through that so will need to email me separately for now with the address of the tree in the title so it’s easy to match up with your form details. And remember, no Google images please, but trees you have found and seen in person. Thanks.

So – keep your eyes peeled folks!


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.
Thank you everyone for your support.


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