Thursday, 1 January 2015

Kingston Cemetery and Cambridge Road Estate (CRE)Part 3

Kingston Cemetery is nowadays a splendid place for wildlife (see earlier posts for fungi, birds etc.). Over previous winters we have undertaken  winter bird surveys and last years results are posted on the window at the cemetery office. Both night roosts and pre-roost gatherings of several bird species are of interest: Jackdaw, Starlings, Ring-necked Parakeets as well as small passerines. These song birds are  using trees in the environs, including the Cambridge Road Estate, where last night we counted a tree roost of >32 Goldfinches. The birds could be attracted by the 'Cemetery effect ' as well as the warmth around the buildings on the estate. It demonstrates the importance for wildlife of large trees in the urban environment.

Tree damage caused by dogs
Many large trees have been removed from the estate in recent years and some will die slowing as a result of trenching operations and vandalism. The council have belatedly placed tree guards around some of the trees to prevent the exercising of dogs jaws around the bark although some of the newly planted birch trees at 'Ely Court' have died. If you see this happening on new trees let the council tree officer know so that something can be done to protect them from further damage. These trees have an important benefit for wildlife and the majority of people really care about them, as was apparent from comments received, whilst we were undertaking the above count.


Tree Guard CRE
Oyster fungi Cambridge Grove

Here are the rather belated tree guards that took six months to install but having established the process, with the help of the ward councillor, lets hope subsequent guards can be provided in good time. On the right are Oyster mushrooms found on a tree across the Cambridge Road at Cambridge Grove Gardens. Very little remains of the former landscaped gardens, which surrounded the former sanctuary for the elderly.


Brown Roll Rim
Edith's Streets tells us that Kingston cemetery is about 32 acres and was opened in 1855. Burials include Thomas Hansard recorder of Parliamentary debates, A.C. Ranyard editor of Truth magazine and Dr Joseph Moloney, African explorer. Tomb of Dorothy Burton 1908 Listed monument by Richard Goulden of a Bronze statue of adolescent girl with uplifted face and arms. There are also several war graves. The older graves are covered with lichens for which there is a Biodiversity Action Plan Lichen Plan. There are Symmetrical Gothic chapels, flanking the carriageways, which are of no use for roosting bats as they are illuminated by wasteful floodlights at night. The Crematorium was added in 1952 with yellow stained glass and brick cloisters and walls.

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