Lichens are an important part of many ecosystems and can be found all around us. These are amazing small plant-like structures found on a range of surfaces ranging from rocks and boulders to buildings and the sides of trees.

This beginner course will consist of a blend of field and classroom sessions to provide you with a general introduction to lichens as a group, focusing on morphology, biology, ecology and chemistry, alongside identification and recording. The course will include field visits to local sites around the FSC Centre, in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty allowing you to put into practice everything you have learnt in the classroom.

With the rich lichen diversity across Devon, the centre is perfectly situated for an introductory course to lichens, especially with the spectacular variety that can be found in the southwest of England.

The knowledge and skillset acquired over the duration of this FSC Identifying Lichen 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.

If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at FSC Slapton Ley, please email [email protected]

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

This course includes:

  • Demonstrations of equipment – hand lens, microscope & ID Guides.
  • Concept of herbaria and reference collections.
  • Thallus types/structure – crustose, foliose, fruticose & leprose etc.
  • Key features – reproduction, attachment & colour etc.
  • Introduction to chemical testing and safe application.
  • Access to study sites situated in the beautiful Devon countryside.
  • Use of resources including library, workrooms and the centre grounds.
  • Follow up support from course tutor after the FSC Workshop.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject, and acquire novel skills.

  • See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists

A level of fitness is required to undertake this FSC Workshop. The field-based elements will include walking and exploring uneven terrain and walking off footpaths. Course participants should expect to walk anything up to 5km in one day whilst completing fieldwork.

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

Tutor: April Windle

April Windle is a naturalist with a particular interest in lichens. She is currently self-employed and involved in a variety of lichen education and conservation projects, alongside co-chairing the Education & Promotions Committee of the British Lichen Society.  Her previous employment history includes Plantlife International, the Natural History Museum, Exmoor National Park Authority and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. LinkedIn: April Windle / Twitter: @aprilwindle

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe, we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • Wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • Maintains social distancing.
  • Cleans their hands regularly.
  • Takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

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

**Please note this is a provisional timetable. Plans may change dependent on weather, the FSC Centre and group preference.

DAY 1

Morning - classroom
Introduction to lichens – biology, chemistry, ecology & bioindication. Followed by lichen identification & recording, which includes:

  • Demonstrations of equipment – hand lens, microscope & ID Guides.
  • Concept of herbaria and reference collections.
  • Thallus types/structure – crustose, foliose, fruticose & leprose etc.
  • Key features – reproduction, attachment & colour etc.
  • Introduction to chemical testing and safe application.

Afternoon – field visit, site TBC

DAY 2

Morning – classroom
Personal time to consolidate learning and work through specimens, with tutor available to help & answer questions.

Afternoon – field visit, site TBC

*Due to the limited amount of time available, this course will not cover how to complete a cross-section or use a compound microscope. Only a dissecting scope will be used as part of this workshop.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi

Before You Attend

What to Bring?

  • Sturdy walking boots (ideally) or wellies.
  • Good set of waterproofs (jacket & trousers) and an umbrella.
  • Warm clothing (ie. fleece, hat & gloves).
  • Sun cream & clothing for cooler weather.
  • Pens, notebooks and waterproof covers/plastics bags for the field.
  • Phones and cameras will also prove useful for pictures.
  • A day rucksack inc. lunch box, water bottle & thermos flask.
  • A x10 magnification hand lens. Those costing between £3.00 - £5.00 are sufficient.
  • Please bring your own refreshments & pack lunch

Recommended Equipment & Literature

  • FSC foldout – Lichens on Twigs (£3.30), Lichens of heaths & moors (£3.30), Churchyard Lichens (£3.30), Rocky Shore Lichens (£.3.30) and Urban Lichens 1 & 2 (£3.30 each).
  • A “Foldout Guides Wildlife Pack: Lichnes” can be purchased for £17.50 inc. 6 FSC Foldout Guides.
  • Frank Dobson – A Field Key to Lichens on Trees (£16.50), Coastal & Seashore (£16.50) and Churchyards (£16.50).
  • Frank Dobson - Lichens: An Illustrated Guide to the British and Irish Species (£34.99).
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