Last year I took part in Tree Following and chose a horse chestnut tree in North Merchiston Cemetery, which is part of our lockdown #DailyExercise route. Little did I know back then that still in 2021 we would be confined to a limited area for exercise.
So this year, I have chosen another tree in the same cemetery to study. This is a lovely silver birch tree, all gnarled with age. It's also one of the trees that the forestry officer of Edinburgh City Council put a bird box on while we walked round the cemetery as part of our discussions about the new Friends of North Merchiston Cemetery Group (you can read about our meeting here). So hopefully while following the tree I can also keep an eye on any bird family that chooses to nest there!
The birch looked beautiful today in the cold winter sunshine
There are a number of graves around the tree, many of which have seen better days.
Some of the gravestones will have been laid flat by the council after becoming unstable. Very few people have been buried in this cemetery for many years and there are no new plots left, though you can still be buried there if your family has a family plot there.
I look forward to being able to watch the birch tree through the year, though I do hope lockdown restrictions can be lifted sooner rather than later!