Urban green spaces

The importance of cemeteries as urban green spaces is often overlooked.  Relatively untouched by surrounding urban development, cemeteries often act as green oases, providing a range of important natural habitats for many different – and often rare – plant life and animals.

What to expect


There are numerous bird species using the cemetery.

  • Robin
  • Tits – Great, Coal, Blue, Long Tailed
  • Chaffinch
  • Woodpecker
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Buzzard


There are a surprising number of mammals to be found at the cemetery.

Species include

  • Grey Squirrel
  • Albino Grey Squirrel
  • Stoats
  • Fox


North Merchiston Cemetery has a wide selection of native and introduced species.

  • Sycamore
  • Birch
  • Linden (Lime)
  • Dogwood
  • Laburnum
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Elm


  • Ringlet butterflies
  • Speckled Wood 
  • Tortoiseshells
  • Peacock


  • Cinnabar moths
  • Common birch bell 

shield bugs

Red-legged shieldbugs

wild flowers

Many beautiful and delicate species of flowers can be found in the cemetery, such as this Common Spotted Orchid.

  • Rosebay Willowherb
  • Lords and Ladies
  • Buttercups
  • Daisies
  • White Clover

lady bugs

  • Pine Ladybirds
  • 2-spot
  • 10-spot
  • Cream spot ladybirds

Other insects

There are so many different species of insect in the cemetery including this Marmalade Hoverfly

  • Waxwing Lacewings
  • Hoverflies
  • Click Beetles
  • Pale-footed pipiza (hoverfly)