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Wauchope Graveyard

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Wauchope Graveyard in spring

This is the graveyard of the old Niddrie House Estate and there are only a few gravestones here.

There are two Redwood trees here, an Irish Yew, and a Common Yew. All these trees are evergreen. This means they don't lose all their leaves in winter.

Yew is one of the three native Scottish conifers (cone-bearing trees). The other two are Scots Pine and Juniper. Scientists estimate that Yew trees can live over 1500 years!

Yew was once thought of as a sacred tree. It was planted in graveyards as a symbol of immortality (because it's evergreen) - and it was said to grow down into the dead bodies to release their soul and purify their blood! 

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Common Yew near sandstone wall

It gives a hard and beautiful wood, which was used to make bows for shooting arrows. All parts of it are poisonous to animals and humans, except the fleshy, red Ďarilí, which grows around a large (poisonous) pip. It looks like a soft berry. Birds are fond of the aril and eat the pip too. The seed passes straight through them, and attempts to take root wherever it is deposited. Humans beware - you would be ill if you did the same.

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Graveyard - late summer 

This graveyard is well looked after, with short, neat grass. It is surrounded by a sandstone wall, which is very valuable for small insects.  Plants along the edge include Sycamore, Holly, Snowberry and Wych Elm.

 

What to look out for and when
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Buds opening on all the trees

Papery Wych Elm seeds

Drooping green spikes of Sycamore flowers

Yellow flowers of Dandelions

Yellow and white flowers of Daisies

Minibeasts

White Snowberries in the hedge

Tiny, white holly flowers

Red arils on Yew trees

Red Holly berries

Different shapes of evergreen 'leaves'

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Go explore for yourself!