A Fascinating Introduction to Lichenology

As a ‘thank-you’ to our dedicated team of volunteers, the Snowdonia Society, in partnership with local professionals, run a wide range of natural history workshops and training courses.

Phil having a closer look at some lichen using a hand lens!

Phil having a closer look using a hand lens!

Last week, we hosted an Introduction to Lichen Identification Course, here’s what one of our regular volunteers had to say…

”On the 17th March I attended a lichen identification course at the Snowdonia National Park Environmental centre based at Plas Tan Y Bwlch near Penrhyndeudraeth.  It had been organised by The Snowdonia Society, for anyone interested in improving their knowledge of the wonderful and unique world of lichens.

The day-long course was led by Tracey Lovering from Plantlife Cymru, and consisted of an introductory talk supported by a beautiful collection of photographs illustrating some of the forms and features of lichens found in North Wales.  One key fact from the presentation – Wales, for its size, supports the highest diversity of lichen species in the world.

Rhizocarpon geographicum

Rhizocarpon geographicum

There were a lot of new botanical terms to get to grip with, which described the different types of lichen, and their varied modes of reproduction.  I found it all fascinating, as did the others on the course, and after lunch we all headed for the woods around Plas Tan Y Bwlch, eye glasses in hand, in search of some in-situ lichens to attempt to identify.

Tracey was invaluable in pointing out good examples that the untrained eye would easily miss.  I was totally amazed once I’d got my eye in, and loved using an eye glass to magnify and thus reveal a microscopic world that I was previously unaware of.  Best of all was combining the 15x eye glass with my mobile phone camera, which enabled me to capture some of the beauty and variety of lichens.  It’s safe to say I’m ‘hooked’, and hope to take part in the up-coming Plantlife lichen apprentiship scheme ‘CENNAD’.”

An example of a Foliose Lichen

An example of a Foliose Lichen

A special thank you to Phil Layton for sharing his experience and stunning photographs, and to Tracey Lovering for providing an truly insightful and inspirational introduction to Lichenology!

Want to get involved?

If you’re keen to learn more about lichen, you might be interested in becoming a lichen apprentice! Click here to find out more about the ‘CENNAD’ scheme.

If you’d like to improve your identification skills, or discover more about the flora and fauna of Snowdonia visit the Events page or email bethan@snowdonia-society.org.uk to find out more!

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