The object of this weekend course is to help you to get to know the characters that you need to use in order to identify lichens both in the field and in the lab.

On Friday and Saturday we will be able to collect some specimens around Nettlecombe but on Sunday we are visiting Horner NNR where we cannot collect. We will mainly be looking at lichens on trees as these are easy to collect but we can also visit the churchyard at Nettlecombe to look at churchyard lichens on a range of rock types. FSC illustrated fold out keys for both lichens on trees and in churchyards will be available for sale at Nettlecombe.

Tutor: Pat Wolseley

Pat Wolseley is a lichenologist and past president of the British Lichen Society who lives at Nettlecombe but continues to work at the Natural History Museum as a part time Scientific Associate. She has worked on lichens as indicators of environmental conditions at home and in the tropics and was instrumental in the development of the national OPAL air quality project which used lichens as indicators of air quality across the UK. More recently she has put together a checklist of lichens of Somerset, together with Brian and Sandy Coppins, which is in press and which we will use on the course to check distribution of lichen communities in Somerset.
Tutor Pat Wolseley looking at Lichen

Example Timetable


2.00pm: Introduction to the course activities and to looking at lichens with the aid of a handbook of terms. Field visit to nearby parkland trees to investigate lichens on twigs and trunks and to collect material for investigation in the lab.


9.30am: Meet in lab for brief introduction to days activities. Use of simple spot tests for identifying lichens.  Visit to areas of ancient woodland within Nettlecombe SSSI.
Lunch in lab or outside depending on weather!
2.00pm: Visit to churchyard at Nettlecombe - no collecting.
Work in labs to identify and packet material collected at Nettlecombe.
Evening talk: Lichen habitats in Somerset and their specialities.


Visit to Horner woods NNR.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Please bring X10 handlenses with you
  • Any books/keys that you use for identification at home

Sorry this course has ended