Friday, 13 October 2017

Lichens at Lofthouse - Report of the Moorland Festival Workshop

Fourteen of us including myself met on Sunday 8th October 2017 at Lofthouse Village Hall for the Beginners Lichens Day as part of the Upper Nidderdale Moorland Festival

First we examined the crustose lichens on the walls outside the hall
Candelariella vitellina : This is the yellow lichen on the acid sandstone

In some places, another yellow lichen:- Caloplaca citrina.. 
It was growing on mortar or where water had run over the mortar and then deposited limey material

Here I am sitting in the foreground testing the yellow lichen with KOH - Ah it goes crimson - It must be the Caloplaca.
Ah this one has also turned red - It must be some more Caloplaca

This is Acarospora fuscata. The thallus is thin  on the capstone of the relatively new wall outside the hall. Later we found it growing half a cm thick  looking like deposited mud on the gritstone wall  on the road up out of the village.(That wall is over 200 years old) 

Porpidia tuberculosa

Here is the Porpidia close up.  The black line round the very edge is called the prothallus. The thallus (main body of the lichen) is arranged in areoles (tiny islands)  with cracks in between. The blue grey marks are soralia - patches where the white skin (cortex) of the fungus allows the contents below to come out - powder made of fungal threads and algae.

We spent time in the hall looking at pictures on a screen and learning these names of parts of a lichen. Then keen not to loose the sunshine, we set off up all of 200m,  up the hill outside the village.. carrying our lovely sandwich lunch that the festival had provided.

Lunch with a view up to Middlesmoor - Later we looked at the trees on the left.

Lunch was relaxing. There were no lichens whatsoever amongst the grass of the grassland - though we did find three waxcap fungi (Hygrocybe punicea, nivalis and a yellow one)  and a Liberty-cap

After lunch we examined the lichen of the trees and the wall

 he green filamentous alga is called Klebsormidium crenulatum.  The darker brown areas - looking a bit like deposited mud are the lichen Acarospora fuscata.  Both grow well where there is lots of reactive nitrogen

Yes there is a farm nearby - but you get this Klebsormidium growing on the wall right to the very tops of these hills.

Acarospora fuscata

And below we have Parmelia saxatilis - called  Crottle or Stony Rag in English

 One person found some Stereocaulon vesuvianum. and we found several species of  Cladonia and

and looked briefly at the welcome to Lofthouse sign 

where there was more Candelariella vitellina  (yellow remember?) and some Rhizocarpon reductum with the fruiting bodies growing in concentric circles 

Then it was back to the village hall

Ah - but we had kept some of the Provisions for tea..

The participants stick some of the larger specimens to their charts with Copydex, and I show them Frank Dobson's book.


  1.  post about the exploratory day I made for this trip here - with more pictures of lichens
  2. The provisional programme
  3. More posts on lichens in this blog
  4. Read a good article about Lofthouse here- The village that was nearly flattened
  5. and make sure you call in for delicious ice-cream made on the farm here, at the foot of the Cote de Lofthouse:
    Meadowdale Icecream Facebookpage

Mint Meadowdale Ice-cream is a different green
to Rhizocarpon geographicum
 See if you can spot this yellow green Rhizocarpon geographicum - (Map Lichen)  to the top right of the plaque.

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