Sunday 18 March 2012

Lichens Day at Giggleswick Churchyard 14 June 2009

The Lichens Day/Wildlife workshop at Giggleswick Church ran under near idyllic conditions- sun - a good turnout of interested people (over eighty) - sun - two good leaders to take people round to see lichens and flowers - teas kindly provided by volunteers at the church - sun - plenty of space in the church for me to set up stalls - with CEL leaflets, and selling lichen colour foldout cards (FSC), and Rainforest project greetings cards. sun.

I sold four handlenses and five rainforest project greetings cards.. and the profit from selling these adds £8-00 to the rainforest fund. 

Over eighty people met at Giggleswick Church and Churchyard in the Yorkshire Dales to study lichens, flowers and other wildlife on Sunday 14th June 2pm-5pm. They came from the Institute of Biology, The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the local area and far parts of Yorkshire.

Professor Mark Seaward of Bradford University led two guided tours to show the lichens. Dr Mike Canaway of Giggleswick showed people the flowers. Elizabeth Hardcastle described the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Churchyard Project.

Members of the Church served refreshments. Nigel Mussett of Giggleswick who organised the event and has done much to look after a wildlife area within the churchyard made a photo-display.

I wrote the above description in 2009 but when I came to update the post I could not edit the original page, so am now making a new one here in 2012

Nigel Mussett welcomes
the Institute of Biology Members and other participants

The participants listen 

CEL leaflets and Cards for sale in aid of the rainforest

We went out of the dark church into the bright sunlight. It was a delightful picture with  people in colourful clothes wandering through the churchyard – blue sky, the tall False-oat grass waving in the wind and shimmering in the sun, elderflower blossom just bursting. 

People peered at lichens with their hand lenses. 

Mark Seaward - kneeling - to examine Collema tenax and  Aspicilia contorta  

Mark was on his knees on a slab- which I thought was a tombstone but now realise was a sort of concrete pavingstone.  He showed us some Collema tenax. This is a Cyano-lichen which grows in tropical areas. (To me Collemas are black-jelly lichens which swell and go squidgy when it is wet) Cyano lichens have blue-green bacteria not ordinary algae. Thus they can fix nitrogen and can grow in low nitrogen areas.
Collema tenax has no isidia, it has lobes to 1 cm wide and grows on mortar.
 However the other lichen growing with it, Aspicilia contorta, which is one which grows where there is high nitrogen.
 (Ah I see it was once called Verrucaria contorta Lecanora contorta (Hoffm.J.Steiner
Lecanora calcarea var. contorta (Hoffm.Hepp -  wikispecies English name is Chiseled sunken disk lichen;  or  Contorted rimmed lichen)

Collema tenax
Close up of Collema tenax

Aspicillia contorta

Close up of Aspicillia contorta 

To be described

To be described
We looked at a wooden seat with marks on it. “Can you tell me the names of one of them?” I asked. “They are not in fruit” said Mark. “Aha,” I said “That is a useful professional answer  - like “they are juvenile birds” is the answer I get from  real ornithologists when I ask what squeaky bird sounds are,  or “little brown jobs” when I ask fungi people  names of little brown fungi. “Great, that is a good answer to give with confidence, and I will sound like a professional if I say that”

On a beech tree near the gate into the far graveyard was a lichen. Mark said beech trees don’t have may lichens. This lichen was called “Arthonia radiata
I said to the next person “Look at the Arthonia radiata!” Practice fixes it in the brain.
“Oh, what nice Arthonia radiata” She gamefully replied. 
 This one is called Dot Lichen. I think I will stick to that. 

Mike Canaway shows people a flower

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