FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Introducing Lichens (The Regent's Park)

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Joe Beale
  • Date: Saturday 17 March 2018
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Beginners

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here

Course Details

Lichens are remarkable, often beautiful and they can be found in a vast range of locations. In this course based in London's Regent’s Park, we will be looking at the basic structure of lichens, concentrating on the main features used in identification. We will have an introduction to the issues of pollution that impact on lichens and their rapidly changing fortunes in London and what this tells us. We will be going outside to look at lichens in the field and learn some common species, concentrating on those that grow on trees. Back in the classroom, we will identify some common lichens using a simple key.

You should, at the end of the course, feel able to use basic identification guides with some confidence and be able to identify some of the commoner lichens.

About the Tutor:

Joe Beale is a London-based naturalist and an experienced tutor. He organises lichen surveys in London and worked on the lichen collection at the Natural History Museum while on the Identification Trainers for the Future programme. Joe has extensive experience of recording wildlife and plants in London’s parks and contributes regularly to publications such as the London Naturalist and the London Bird Report. He is passionate about the fascinating biodiversity of London’s green spaces and communicating this richness to others.


  • 09.45 Participants arrive, registration, introductions
  • 10.00 Introductory presentation, including an overview of pollution and lichens and their changing fortunes in London and lichens within ecosystems
  • 10.45 Prepare for fieldwork – brief discussion about purpose of and techniques of fieldwork
  • 11.00 Walk in the Park to examine lichens, mainly on trees and learn some common species.
  • 13.30 approx. Lunch back at the Classroom
  • 14.30 approx. classroom session
  • 16.00 approx. Closing presentation including recommendations for further study, summary and questions
  • 16.30 Course ends

Disclaimer All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course.

What to bring:

  • Lunch and plenty to drink
  • Suitable clothing & footwear, waterproofs or sun cream as appropriate!
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Small bag to carry personal items

If you have them:

  • Your favourite botany field guide
  • hand lens

Health and Safety:

  • 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 requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Meeting point / Location:

The Park Offices, Inner Circle, The Regent's Park   https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-there

FSC in The Regent's Park:

FSC has been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In The Regent's Park, we use facilities within the Park Offices to deliver courses, including classroom space, toilet facilities and refreshments. Most of our courses use sites across the Park allowing you to experience the diversity of habitats in this stunning Park. The Regent's Park, designed by John Nash, covers 395 acres and includes Queen Mary's Gardens which features more than 12,000 roses of 400 varieties, as well as the gloriously restored William Andrews Nesfield's Avenue Gardens. With excellent sports facilities spanning nearly 100 acres it includes the largest outdoor sports area in central London. The park also houses the Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, Primrose Hill, the country's largest free to access waterfowl collection and 100 species of wild bird.

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken.

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