Allerton Cemetery in south Liverpool is one of the main burial places for the city. It was consecrated in 1909 and is Grade II listed. Its 150 acres (61 ha) now contain something like 85,000 burials, including the relatives of some of us, burials from tragic public events and some Scouse celebrities.
Last week’s Storm Gareth has passed over and we are now getting the tail end of Storm Hannah, with gusty winds and hail showers between the intermittent sunshine. On the road up to the Cemetery we noted two types of Eucalyptus tree in a garden, both the Snow Gum and the Cider Gum. Inside the Cemetery we headed for the Persian Ironwood in section CE 1A to see what the flowers look like, two months after sprouting as the shocking pink and black buds that we saw in Sefton Park on 20th January. The answer is, they look quite underwhelming, and we wouldn’t have given them a second glance.
In a wooded section near the main chapel we glimpsed something a bit more interesting, a tree which was throwing out bunches of strange pink tassels. It’s a Box Elder, which isn’t an Elder at all but a type of Maple, Acer negundo, also known as an Ash-leaved Maple. It has separate male and female trees (dioecious), and this must be the male tree with those spectacular pink flowers and anthers.
It has been very wet, and the island on the way to the east section was flooded
We were heading that way to see Ken Dodd’s grave in section CE 28, where he is buried with his parents. The first anniversary of his death was only a few days ago, so there were many family flowers and cards.
After lunch at a convenient picnic table we crossed the road to Springwood crematorium, where the very earliest Cherry trees were in bloom.
We had been looking at a lot of trees of the same species which were showing the first pale green haze of growth. They weren’t leaves or catkins, they were little green hanging strings of flowers. I checked at home, and they were Hornbeams, as we had surmised.
Then, stopping to nod to Cilla Black’s grave on the way, we made our way back to the main gates. One early Rhododendron was in particularly lovely bloom.
Public transport details: Train from Central at 10.13, arriving Liverpool South Parkway 10.25. Returned from the same station at 14.38, arriving Liverpool Central at 14.55.
Next few weeks:
24th March, Eastham with the MNA. Meet at Sir Thomas Street at 10 am.
Anyone is welcome to come out with the Sunday Group. It is not strictly part of the MNA, although it has several overlapping members. We go out by public transport to local parks, woods and nature reserves all over Merseyside, and occasionally further afield. We are mostly pensioners, so the day is free on our bus passes, and we enjoy fresh air, a laugh and a joke, a slow amble in pleasant surroundings and sometimes we even look at the wildlife!
If you want to join a Sunday Group walk, pack lunch, a flask, waterproofs, binoculars if you have them, a waterproof pad to sit on if we have to have lunch on the grass or a wet bench (A garden kneeler? A newspaper in a plastic bag?), and wear stout shoes or walking boots. We are usually back in Liverpool City Centre by 4pm at the latest.
If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.