Churchyard lichens guide
The FSC Churchyard lichens guide will help you identify over 50 of the commonest lichens found in churchyards in Britain. The lichens are grouped according to growth form. Text on the reverse side includes straightforward lichen identification keys.
Churchyards can be a great place to look for lichens. They contain many different types of stone, often with dates, and all in a small area. Lichens are slow growing, many only increasing in size by about 1-2mm a year until some species may be 150mm in diameter. In a churchyard they are often undisturbed and are able to to grow larger over the centuries.
Lichens are sensitive to air pollution. More species are likely in an unpolluted country churchyard than a site in the centre of a city. However, even in a town churchyard you may find old gravestones on which more sensitive lichens have managed to survive from a time before the worst pollution occurred. The levels of sulphur dioxide pollution are now falling and many species have returned to sites where they have been absent for many years.
The Churchyard lichens guide was produced in partnership with the British Lichen Society.