This beginner course provides an opportunity for you to explore the medieval park at Nettlecombe, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its lichens. You will learn to identify common lichens that are used as indicators of air quality and those that are associated with veteran trees.

This course will cover:

  • Learning to recognise features of lichens using a handbook
  • Using simple keys to identify common species in the field
  • Lichens as indicators of air quality
  • Introduction to lichens of ancient woodland and parkland

Read More

This weekend course, based at Nettlecombe field centre will include an introduction to lichens and the terminology used in identification, use of a x10 hand lens and dissecting microscopes, there will also be a compound microscope with slides and instructions for those who wish to make sections and look at microscopic features. Basic lichen chemistry using spot tests will be introduced, and an introduction to lichens as indicators of air quality and ancient woodland and parkland.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate preliminary identification skills
  • Know where to find lichens out in the field

Who Should Attend? – Nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career consultants, ecologists, etc.

Knowledge Level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge – No existing knowledge or experience is needed for this course, just a willingness to explore and learn.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation or meal facilities included in the course price. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be available. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Pat Wolseley

Pat Wolseley is a past president of the British Lichen Society and a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum working on lichens as indicators of air quality in the UK and abroad. She has run courses on lichens for the Field Studies Council for more than 20 years.

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am
  • The course will end at 5:00pm

Day 1

  • Introduction to lichens:
    • Characters used in identification
    • Practical to explore lichens using x10 hand lens, dissecting microscopes and  a handbook prepared for the course
  • Lunch - not provided
  • Field visit to explore trees around the centre and identify lichens encountered

Walking will be limited to trees in the vicinity of the centre.

Day 2

  • Introduction to lichens of ancient woodland and parkland
  • Lunch - not provided
  • Field visit to find species present at Nettlecombe

The centre minivan will take you to visit three locations with veteran trees in the SSSI. Two of these are close to the road and maximum walking will be <1 mile.

Please note accommodation, lunch and an evening meal are not included in the course price. 

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • In Course Transport

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you build your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression
  • In-course transport
  • Refreshments (tea and coffee)

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors - please dress appropriately for cold and wet weather and walking on rough ground
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • x10 hand lens

Recommended Literature

Please bring any books that you have previously used to help identify lichens. The guides below are not essential, but have been suggested by the tutor to accompany this course. When you book this course, you will receive a discount code for the Field Studies Council recommended guides.

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Sat 26, October 2024 10:00 - Sun 27, October 2024 17:00

    If you would like to book accommodation and meals at Nettlecombe Court, please email [email protected]. Please note the centre may not be able to guarantee accommodation and meals during this course.

    Pat Wolseley

No current dates for this course? Click here to view all the upcoming Natural History courses.

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in-person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.