Saturday, 25 September 2021

A Tale of Two Cemeteries

 I've been contracted by Edinburgh Council to survey the wildlife in the city's 43 cemeteries to feed into the new cemetery management plans that are being put together. I started this week by visiting two very different cemeteries. 

On Thursday, I visited the beautiful and peaceful Corstorphine Hill Cemetery. You enter this cemetery along a beautiful avenue of lime (linden) trees

The main part of the cemetery is made up of well mown grass and some beautiful mature trees 

Part of the cemetery has been designated a woodland cemetery and has been planted with silver birch trees  

Behind this are the war graves 

Although it's late in the year, some flowers are still in bloom, including this feverfew

While I was in the cemetery, no less than six skeins of geese flew over on their winter migration! 

Yesterday, it was the turn of Greyfriar's Cemetery. This is Edinburgh's most famous cemetery. Many famous people are buried here, but it is most famous for Greyfriar's Bobby, a dog who spent 14 years guarding his master's grave. The cemetery nowadays is most famous however as the place which inspired JK Rowling in the writing of the Harry Potter series. As a result, and in total contrast to Corstorphine Hill Cemetery, it is incredibly busy with tourists, even in these pandemic times. I managed to get there before the rush to take some photos 

I was astonished by the number and variety of ladybirds in this cemetery. Several gravestones were home to a number of ladybirds, but one in particular stood out

In this photo we have: pine ladybirds, two spot ladybirds, cream spot ladybirds, 10-spot ladybirds and Harlequin ladybirds (in both adult and larval form). 

There were good numbers of other insects too, including this birch shield bug

Long before Greyfriars Kirk was built and long before the land was designated as a burial ground, the area was a Franciscan herb garden. Inspired by this, the Grassmarket Community Project re-established a herb garden in 2008. There are several patches of medicinal and culinary herbs around the graveyard, though I suspect they may be overlooked by most people, who are more interested in Harry Potter or the famous names buried here.

While I was in the cemetery, three skeins of geese flew over on their winter migration.

 For Nature Notes.


Jeff said...

Is Grayfrair where Adam Smith and Clarinda (one of Robert Burns many loves) are buried? I was amazed at the number of small cemeteries and small gardens around churches in Edinburgh. This sounds like an interesting project.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Fascinating and how very beautiful both cemeteries are.

Lowcarb team member said...

Very nice to see your photographs from these two cemeteries.

All the best Jan

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Jeff, no, Adam Smith and Clarinda are buried in Canongate Cemetery (which I visited today and will blog about at the end of the week.) There are a lot of lovely wee cemeteries here (and some of them are bigger than they seem).

Thanks Weaver

Thanks Lowcarb

Rambling Woods said...

I love visiting via you the country that my grandfather came from....Michelle