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.

The Malham Tarn area is rich in lichen species, occurring on rocks, trees, and soil, allowing the beginner to form a useful and informative collection of material. Methods of collection and examination will be explained and carried out.

Gain confidence in using simple identification keys and chemical tests, and obtain an understanding of their biology and impact on the landscape.

The nature of the lichens and methods used to study them in the field and at home will be explained. Methods of collection and examination will be provided and local collections from the field will be returned to the Field Centre for further study. This will include the close observation of the symbiosis and reproduction of lichens.
At the end of the course, participants should be able to identify lichens as distinct from other lower organisms, and place them approximately in their morphological group or family. They should also acquire confidence in using simple identification keys and chemical tests and obtain an understanding of their biology and impact on the landscape.
Some prior knowledge of the subject will be assumed, though beginners or those new to learning about lichens are welcome.

We anticipate that this course will run with between 4 and 40 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.

What's Included

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

Vegetarian and other dietary options are available on request.
Use of resources including library, workrooms and the Centre grounds.
Non-resident course fees include all of the above except breakfast and accommodation.

Before You Attend

What to bring:

  • A small folding knife, plus a hammer and cold chisel with goggles for safety.
  • x10 hand lens is very useful*
  • Collecting tins will be found indispensable eg. old tobacco tins are particularly useful, at least two but preferably more.
  •  A dissection needle or a scalpel with a pointed blade
  • A4 white paper for making specimen envelopes, plus pen and pencil.
  • If you have it, a copy of F. Dobson 'Illustrated guide to lichens'
  • Binocular x6-x25 and compound x100-x400 will be especially handy if you have your own microscope.
  • Warm clothes and a torch for evening studies
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers *
  • Walking boots, wellington boots *
  • Warm clothing, hat, scarf, gloves, thick socks

Small rucksack, flask / water bottle

Packed lunch container

Sun cream, insect repellent
*These items can be borrowed at the Centre