Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel courses from March to 1st August, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

This one-day course is designed to introduce lichens to naturalists and students (sixth form and undergraduate) – including those whose appetites have been whetted by participation in the OPAL air pollution survey. No previous knowledge is assumed.

The day will focus on identifying lichens, explaining what lichens are and how they can be distinguished in the field.

At the end of the day, participants can expect to feel confident in the naming of a range of common species, have a small collection of reference specimens, and have sufficient background for projects using lichens as bioindicators of environmental conditions.

The Malham Tarn area is rich in lichen species. Over 300 have been recorded within just three miles of the Field
Centre. There is a Field Studies Council publication listing them and providing descriptions of their ecology.

Excursions will be on foot from the Field Centre and will not be arduous (two km).

A British Lichen Society course.

We anticipate that this course will run with between 5 and 20 participants.

Tutor: Allan Pentecost

Allan Pentecost has published 30 research papers on lichens, including Malham Tarn Lichen Flora. He is particularly interested in the growth of these organisms, their relationship with the substratum - and the nature of the symbiosis. As a freshwater biologist by training, he has a particular interest in those lichens occurring in or near water, and those containing blue-green algae. He has been visiting and collecting in the Malham Tarn area for over 30 years.

Example Timetable

Start and finish times
Participants are requested to arrive between 9:30 and 10:00. Please report to reception on arrival. The course will start at 10:00 and end at around

17:00.Outline of the day
10.00: General Introduction
10.15: Introduction to lichens and their structure
11.15: Tea break and discussion
11.45: Excursion to Tarn Fen to examine wood-land lichens
13.00: Lunch
13.45: Lichen reproductive structure
14.45: Examination of collected lichens
14.45: Brief look at lichen on the Field Centre buildings
16.00: Tea and discussion
16.15: Further examination of lichens in the lab, discussion and lichen literature.
17.00: Course ends

Accrediting Agency

The British Lichen Society (BLS)

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Refreshments and a light lunch are included
  • Tea and coffee making facilities available throughout the day.
  • Use of resources including library, workrooms and the centre grounds.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Small locking or folding knife
  • Sheets of A4 paper
  • Collecting tin e.g. tobacco tin or similar.
  • A hand lens (some can be provided)
  • Notebook and pencil
  • If you possess a compound microscope you are welcome to bring it, although some will be provided.
  • A copy of F. Dobson’s Illustrated Guide to Lichens will be very useful
  • Warm, casual clothing
  • Waterproof jacket / trousers*
  • Walking boots*
  • Sun cream; insect repellent
    * These items can be borrowed at the Centre