This beginner course will look at the basic structure of lichens, concentrating on the main features used in identification. There will be an introduction to the issues of pollution that impact lichens and their rapidly changing fortunes in London and what this tells us.

You will have plenty of opportunities to look at lichens in the field and learn some common species, concentrating on those that grow on trees. Back in the classroom, you will learn how to identify some common lichens using a simple key.

The knowledge and skillset acquired over the duration of this course will equip you with the confidence to delve further into lichens as a group, where follow-up support is offered by the course tutor.

Lichens are remarkable, often beautiful, and can be found in a vast range of locations. Though often overlooked, lichens are very important for ecosystems and can tell us a great deal about the state of the local environment.

Please note – there is no accommodation, lunch and or evening meal facilities at Greenwich Park. Working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver education in Greenwich Park, one of the largest single green spaces in south-east London.

*Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

The course is for anyone interested in looking to gain confidence in being able to identify some of the most common lichens.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career consultants and ecologists.

Knowledge Level

Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No specific experience is expected, but it would be helpful to have some understanding of what a lichen is and their requirements.

What will be covered during this course?

    • What are lichens and where are they found?
    • An overview of pollution and lichens
    • Structures of a lichen and examining lichen samples with a hand lens
    • How to identify some common lichens of SE London

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

    • Explain what a lichen is, their ecology and threats
    • Use basic identification guides with some confidence
    • Identify some of the commoner lichens of SE London
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

This is a place-based training course from FSC, including a balance of classroom-led learning to impart important knowledge and irreplaceable hands-on outdoor learning opportunities to give individuals skills and confidence. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within lichens with further relevant FSC courses or branch out into other areas of the plant kingdom. The FSC offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

    • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course
    • Upon booking, you will need to provide individual details of all attendees
    • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions

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.

    • Discounted rates
    • Privately run courses for your group
    • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Email [email protected] to discuss your options!

If we are unable reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 14 days prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Tutor: Joe Beale

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.

Book with Confidence

We understand the difficulties of making plans in the current situation when guidelines continue to change, and insurance conditions are being tightened. In response, we will continue to offer additional flexibility. Find out more here

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 10:00 am
  • The course will end at 5:00 pm.
9:45amParticipants arrive, registration, introductions
10:00amClassroom session covering:

  • Introduction to lichens
  • Overview of pollution and lichens
10:45amBreak and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
11:00pmWalk in the Park to examine lichens, mainly on trees and learn some common species.
1:30pmLunch – not provided
4:00pmClassroom session covering:

  • Identification tips
1:30pmBreak – refreshments not provided 
4:00pmClosing presentation including recommendations for further study, summary and questions
5:00pmEnd of course

Please note - accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included

A high level of fitness is not required but we will be walking about 2 miles and the paths can be rough and steep in places.  A good level of mobility will be necessary.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

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 FSC is renowned

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

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Small bag to carry personal items

If you have them:

  • Hand lens
  • Your own reference book(s)

You may wish to purchase the FSC fold-out Guides to Common Urban Lichens 1 (on trees and wood) and Urban Lichens 2 (on stone and soil) to enhance your experience

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.