Natural History at Folkestone Old Cemetery

One of the best documented Victorian / Edwardian cemeteries, the ‘Friends’ make all their research available via their website and ‘Find a Grave’. Details of some 27,000 people can be accessed, plus people’s stories and photos of all monuments. Fishermen feature, also smugglers and many who travelled the Empire.

About 14 acres in extent, it was farmland & grass before the 1850s; when mown, meadow flowers reappear. Various trees have been planted, while shrubs have spread from the railway embankment at one side.

On Cheriton Road, with its bus services, and between the two Folkestone stations, it is easily reached. Parking is available, and a supermarket provides food and drink

Natural history as seen by members during 2019-2024. (Species types and some specific names given)

Birds seen:

  • Frequently: Green Woodpecker Robin Wren Chaffinch
  • Blackbird Dunnock Starling
  • Blue tit Great tit Pied wagtail
  • Jay Magpie Jackdaw Crow Wood pigeon Collared dove Feral pigeon
  • Often: Goldfinch Greenfinch House Sparrow
  • Sparrow hawk ‘Herring’ gull
  • Rarely: Warblers Coal tit Long tailed tit
  • Lesser spotted woodpecker Redwings [winter]
  • Mistle thrush Martins Swifts
  • Buzzard Kestrel Long eared owl?


  • Buttercups Creeping buttercup
  • Purslanes Spring Beauty
  • Poppies
  • Fumitories
  • Corydalis Yellow Corydalis
  • Crucifers Wallflower Bittercress
  • Violets Purple violet White violet
  • Campions Red campion White campion
  • Stitchworts Chickweed Small flowered Stitchwort Large flowered Stitchwort
  • Hypericums St. John’s Worts
  • Mallows
  • Geraniums Cranesbills Cut-leaf cranesbill Herb Robert
  • Vetches White Clover Red Clover Everlasting Pea
  • Trefoils Black medic Hop trefoil Bird’s foot trefoil/Egg & Bacon
  • Rosacea Bramble Rock rose Wild Strawberry,
  • Lady’s mantle Cinquefoil Herb Bennet/Geum
  • Saxifrages London pride ?
  • Willowherbs Evening primrose
  • Umbellifers Cow parsley? Alexanders?
  • Honeysuckles
  • Bedstraws Goosegrass
  • Valerians Valerian Common Teasel
  • Scabious
  • Compositae Daisy Ox-eye daisy Canadian golden rod
  • Mugwort Wormwood
  • Dandelion Coltsfoot Cats ear?
  • Hawkbit Hawkweeds Orange Hawkweed
  • Scentless Mayweed Stinking Mayweed Pineapple mayweed
  • Ragworts, field Hoary ragwort Groundsel
  • Fleabane Tansy Yarrow
  • Sow thistles Prickly sow thistle
  • Thistles Thistle, creeping/tall
  • Knapweed?
  • Ericas Heathers Ling
  • Primulas Primrose Scarlet pimpernel Cyclamen
  • Periwinkles
  • Borages Comfrey Alkanet? Lungwort [Suffolk sp.] Forget-me-not
  • Convolvulus Bindweed, pink Granny Jump Out Bed
  • Nightshades Woody nightshade
  • Mulleins
  • Toadflaxes Toadflax, Ivy leaf Toadflax, pale
  • Foxglove
  • Speedwells Germander speedwell Creeping speedwell Persian speedwell
  • Labiates White Deadnettle Red Deadnettle Bugle
  • Wild Thyme Self-heal
  • Plantains
  • Goosefoots Fat hen Good King Henry ?
  • Docks Dock Sorrel Redshank
  • Polygonum/Russian vine
  • Spurges
  • Stinging nettle
  • Orchids Early purple orchid Bee orchid Pyramid orchid
  • Irises Stinking iris
  • Narcissi Snowdrops Wild daffodils?
  • Liliaceae Lily of Valley Asparagus Ramsons/Wild Garlic sp.
  • Lords & Ladies Cuckoo pint


  • Deciduous: Walnut, Sweet chestnut, Cherry, Sycamore, Ash
  • Evergreen: Yew, Mediterranean pine, Lawson type conifers, Holly, Holm oak, Holm, soft leaf

Shrubs: Buddleia, Hazel, Privet, Ivy, Elder, Hawthorn? Blackthorn?

Introduced: Snowflake Tulips, Cotoneasters Montbretia? Dipelta?


  • Couche Fescue
  • Wall Barley
  • Rye grass
  • Oat grass Fox tail? Early Hair grass? Timothy?
  • Creeping Bent? Wood Meadow grass

Rushes: Field Woodrush

Ferns & Marestails: Fern [maybe planted]

Mosses & Liverworts: Cushion mosses [Brycum?]

Lichens & Algae:

  • Yellow lichen [Xanthoria?]
  • Dusty grey green & yellow lichens [many on memorials]


  • Giant white puffball
  • Puffball C. excipuliformis? [fawn] Puffball L. pyriforme? [fawn, clustered]
  • Polyporus schweinitzi [browns, large lumpy over roots]
  • Panus conchatus [russet, low cluster on tree stump] Otidea alutacea [tawny, open cup]
  • Mycena species [frail tawny cap, 7cm] Stropharia species? [7cm, greenish cap]
  • Shaggy Ink cap
  • Cavaria vermicularis species [white fingers in grass, 7cm]
  • Horse mushrooms


  • Dragonflies
  • Earwigs
  • Grasshoppers Green Grasshopper
  • Leafhoppers Cuckoo spilt frog-hopper Green Aphids
  • Bugs Shield bugs
  • Lacewings
  • Butterflies Large Skipper Brimstone Orange Tip Small White Large White Gatekeeper Meadow Brown Small Heath Speckled Wood Red Admiral Peacock Tortoiseshell Painted Lady
  • Holly blue Common Blue Small Copper Comma
  • Moths Burnet moth, 6 spot Cinnabar Lackey Virgin Bagworm moth Garden Tiger moth Hornet moth Red Underwing Mullein?
  • Plume moth
  • Common Footman? Buff Tip Bee Hawk, narrow border
  • Peppered moth? Common Emerald? Straw Underwing?
  • Craneflies, Gnats, Mosquitoes
  • Bee flies
  • Hoverflies
  • Flies Blow fly/Bluebottle Greenbottle
  • Sawflies, Wood Wasps, Ichneumons, Gall-wasps
  • Ants Ants Red ants
  • Wasps Wasps German wasp Hornet Digger wasps
  • Bees Digger bees Solitary bees Honeybees Leafcutter bee
  • Tawny mining bee
  • Bumblebee red tail
  • Bumblebee white tail
  • Early bumblebee
  • Cuckoo bumblebees
  • Beetles 7 spot Ladybird Purple edged ground-beetle Devil’s coach-horse
  • Weevils


  • Woodlice, Centipedes, Millepedes
  • Spiders: Garden [clearly patterned in large web] Pholcidae? [thin long leg]
  • Orb weavers, Metidea? Orb weavers, Araneidae?
  • Crab spiders, Tomisidae [lurk in flowers] Wolf spiders, Lycosidae

Arthropods: Snails Humbug snail Yellow shell snail Slugs

Mammals: Bats Grey Squirrel, Brown Rat, Fox Badger Yellow-neck Mouse,

Reptiles: Lizard, common

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