Lichen is a special association between a fungus and an alga.
The fungus forms the main body of the lichen, providing an upper surface that protects the alga underneath, while the alga manufactures food using the energy of sunlight (photosynthesis). Each lichen has its own distinct species of fungus, but all lichens share just a small number of algae species; in most cases this is a green alga.
These are amazing small plant like structures found on a range of surfaces ranging from rocks and boulders to gravestones and the bark of trees. They are renowned indicators of air quality, superb sources of dyes and can even tell us about the acidity or alkalinity of the habitat in which they are found.
Lichen Identification Courses
Each Eco-Skills course is part of a learning framework.. You can see the course level descriptions here
FSC run regular lichen identification courses throughout the year. For details of our courses, and to learn more about lichen, click the button above to view our courses.
Find out about bursaries for natural history courses including lichen identification courses.
FSC Biodiversity Newsletter
Sign up to the FSC Biodiversity Newsletter to hear about:
- Subsidised BioLinks courses and events before we advertise them publicly.
- News and blogs from our BioLinks and Generation Green projects.
- Exciting new natural history courses from the FSC, including exclusive discount codes for subscribers.
- Our extensive (and growing) range of natural history publications, including details of sales and earlybird offers.
Lichen Identification Resources
FSC Churchyard lichens Identification Guide will help you identify over 50 of the commonest lichens found in churchyards in Britain. The lichens are grouped according to growth form. Text on the reverse side includes guide simple illustrated lichen identification keys
FSC Lichens of heaths and moors identification guide will help you identify 62 of the commonest lichens from dry sandy heaths to wet peaty moorland.