The Veteran Tree and Ancient Rhododendron Walk.

A lovely walk through our beautiful Childwall Woods looking at the wonderful old trees that we call veterans.

John McCombs

It didn’t take long to hear about Notable, Veteran and Ancient trees, and what makes them so important in the ecosystem of the woods today.

There are 16 veteran trees in Childwall Woods, the best collection of veterans on one site in Liverpool, and everyone was given a map showing where they could be found, along with our champion trees, one now ‘lost’ in recent storms.

A party of seventeen walkers travelled the length of the woods from the main entrance to Woolton Road, finding ancient characteristics on the veteran trees along the way.

Rhododendron Cynthia. Lipstick pink

It wasn’t just veteran trees, our collection of ancient rhododendrons got a good examination also, the ones that were in bloom.

Rh Cynthia is an eyecatcher at this time of year and there are 7 specimens to be spotted. How can you miss that ‘Lipstick pink’?

By John McCombs

Not all of our veteran trees are in plain view and there were a few rough paths that were trod, but it was always worth it.

By John McCombs

29th April 2022

Our largest beech at 4.57m circumference was worth the walk to Woolton Rd to see its huge branch that was newly dropped, exposing the water hole and rot that had caused that to happen. But as our largest and possibly oldest beech, it is to be expected. Looking at the hollow exposed, this tree is turning into a good candidate for our first ancient beech.

After examining so many veterans there was a stop to see the Champion. After our larger Variegated oak was blown down in Storm Arwen the smaller of the two trees on our site became the new Champion.

Beautifully symmetrical, and positioned on the path to be seen, this rare and wonderful tree is one not to miss especially when in full leaf.

Its wonderful variegated leaves are not fully developed this early in May but make it a focus of your walk in mid May to October and you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you to everyone who attended, for listening so attentively and for all the interesting questions. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

If you would like to learn more about the veteran trees visit Veteran Trees | Friends of Childwall Woods and Fields (

If you want toread about our beautiful Champion Tree visit The New and Lost Champion Trees | Friends of Childwall Woods and Fields (

and if you want to see our ancient Rhododendrons visit The Rhododendron Collection | Friends of Childwall Woods and Fields (

Or, join us next year on the Veteran Tree and Rhododendron Walk.

Trustees of FCWF present

John McCombs – Chair

David Howatson – Treasurer

Brenda Cameron – Lead -Author

Thanks to John McComes for many of the photos.


1st May 2022



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