Landican Cemetery, 14th April 2024

We got off the bus a bit earlier than usual and entered Landican by the footpath at the northern end, off Woodchurch Road, just past the bus stop. It was a rough farm lane, with horses in the fields to the left. Along the edges the first Garlic Mustard, was in bloom, also early stands of Cow Parsley, some bluebells staring to flower and some Herb Robert. There was a bumble bee with a ginger thorax, which I guessed was a Carder Bee, but it’s too early for them, so it must have been a Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum. It’s a species which was new to the UK in 2001, and has been spreading northwards.

Early Cow Parsley

A pair of Dunnocks was investigating a thick hedge, and as we entered the cemetery we could hear a Song Thrush, high up and quite close, but we couldn’t find it in the tree we were sure the sound was coming from. All around were the calls of Robins, Blackbirds, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tits and Great Tits  A Rowan tree was about to bloom.

The main attraction of Landican at this time is the Cherry trees. Large pink ones everywhere, and some with white blossom. They have also planted lots of ornamental Crab Apples with red flowers.

The whole place appears very neat and tidy, mowed and weeded, with just Dandelions and Daisies in the lawns.  However, the eastern edge is far less manicured. Some areas are marked as “Biodiversity Buffers”, where they mow far less often, and signs explain that it might look less tidy but provides. homes, shelter and food for wildlife.

Another spot is the re-burial ground for St Mary’s Birkenhead, whose graves and markers were moved in the 1950s when Cammell Laird’s expanded their dry dock. This area is now designated as a wildlife conservation area. There were several butterflies speeding about –  a couple of Orange Tips and a grey-brown one, which might have been a Speckled Wood, maybe a moth.  A Pheasant called from the edge, and we saw him later, walking with a pronounced limp.

We were hoping for Hares, but we didn’t see any. However we fell into conversation with two fellows walking about, who said they see lots of them in the evening when they are in their cars, and sometimes the Hares are just sitting in the roadways. They also said the area is regularly used by Green Woodpeckers in the summer, who nest in Arrowe Park but come onto the cemetery lawns for the ants.  There was a Pied Wagtail on the chapel roof, and Greenfinch and Goldfinch on the feeders at the back.

We walked around the far southern end, now an active burial area, and a bit open.  New young trees are being planted here, including a young Tulip Tree. By the natural burial area, there was a young oak tree, hardly in leaf, but bearing last year’s marble galls.

Public transport details: Bus 472 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.14, arriving Woodchurch Road / Arrowe Park Road at 10.40. Returned from Arrowe Park Road / opp Landican Cemetery on the 471 bus at 2.25, arriving Liverpool 3.00.

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