Identifying Lichens

Lichens are an important part of many ecosystems.

The medieval park at Nettlecombe is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its lichens. This course provides an opportunity for participants to recognise and identify common lichens that are used as indicators of air quality and those that are associated with veteran trees in ancient woodlands and parklands.

Participants will learn to recognise features of lichens with a handbook designed for the course, to use FSC guides and simple keys to identify common species in the field, those used as indicators of air quality and be introduced to lichens of ancient woodland and parkland in Somerset.

This course includes:

  • An introduction to lichens and the terminology used in identification.
  • How to use x10 hand lens and dissecting microscopes.
  • Basic lichen chemistry using spot tests.
  • An introduction to lichens as indicators of air quality and ancient woodland and parkland.


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.



Please note, the fee is for tuition and refreshments only. Head over to the booking page for more information about the course and how to book addtional accomodation and meals with us.

How to Apply


Please mention when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

23rd October 2021 at 10:00am




Field Studies Council




Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Nature & Wildlife


FSC Nettlecombe Court, United Kingdom