Tuesday 23 January 2024

Newstead Abbey lichens at BLS 2024 AGM Nottingham field trip - Halecania viridescens

 First - two lichens new for me

Halecania viridescens - the green tiny one

Lecanora campestris subsp dolomitica

Two dozen of us met in the car park at Newstead Abbey
at 10.30am on Sunday 21 Jan 2024

This sycamore has amazing spreading low boughs.
In the foreground on the branch is fruiting Candelaria concolor

Candelaria concolor

The group at the trunk are looking at Candelariella reflexa  and Opegrapha varia (now Alyxoria varia)

See discussion on Candelariella reflexa here

Alyxoria varia (see top part of picture)

View from equally long branch on the opposite side.

The low fence with diamond rail made and excellent home for lichens - Here fine specimens of Xanthoria calcicola and Lecanora muralis - the thalli could be seen from tens of metres away.

Finally we set off down towards the Abbey - (well Priory Rems of) and buildings.  See the History of the Priory here. 

Henry VIII gave it to Sir John Byron. A descendant the 6th Lord Byron was the famous poet 

The road from the car park is in the top right of the picture. The Priory is off the picture to the right
A small subgroup of us set off across the dam/ sluice gate/waterfall with Neil to explore the other side of the lake and get into an unrecorded monad

Arthonia spadicea (Tar spot lichen)

Arthonia spacidea was on the flakes of bark

Back with the main party now: Looking at the wall of the Abbey grounds

What is on the wall? (Still waiting to know)

I really wish I could have taken a photo myself of the gaping bill lunging towards me - as the swan stretched up to take my offering - but fearing for my fingers - I lost my nerve and put the bread morsel on the ground

I set off to explore the garden ...

This creature is a satyr (I looked it up on the internet afterwards 
I think this one is a lady satyr. The Greeks called them satyrs. the Romans called them fauns.

This is the seat from which the view of the house (more or less) was taken and on the gravel path beyond the seat was the lichen in the next picture

Steve and Paul were able to tell me it is  tenax var ceranoides 
formerly Collema, now Enchylium tenax var. ceranoides
From LGBI3: compacted or loosely tufted thalli of simple or often branched, digitate, erect, cylindrical lobes up to 1.5cm tall and 1-2mm diam, rarely fertile; on unstable sandy,basic,soils,particularly in the middle of country roads, widespread
More Enchylium tenax  var ceranoides

There is only one way in and out of the garden and eventually I found the way back out again and at 1.30p went to the meeting point, the café

After lunch we went out to look at the Lecanora campestris var dolomitica on the walls. 

This area is near the south end of the Magnesian limestone band of rock which goes all the way up to County Durham.

Lecanora campestris subsp dolomitica

There is more Lecanora campestris subsp dolomitica 
on the wall here too.
In the distance you can see
the waterfall coming out of the lake.

After lunch Maggie took us to see a rare Microlejeunia (Liverwort, and very micro) growing on Yew.

Microlejeunea in centre. You can get the scale by seeing the Metzgeria furcata to the bottom left.

Photographing the Microlejeunea

The forecasted rain still had not arrived so John, Maxine Sylvia and I pressed on, along the path beside the next lake downstream.

We stopped at an unknown species of tree- My guess is an ornamental cherry of some sort.. but it did have a few thorns -- so I could be completely wrong. The main bark had in flaky scales. but the side branches had horizontal bands like some cherry trunks do have.

SK 54261 53541 ish.

Melanohalia elegantula

Halecania viridescens

Halecania viridescens

Lecanora barkmaniana - might have been on a different tree.

The Urn.



Amazing what a bit of sunshine from behind the photographer
can do to improve a picture.

Caloplaca limonia this is what Sylvia in the blue had was looking at

It was now gone 3.30pm and really threatening rain.. And they close the gates at 4pm so we set off home. Back past the sycamore tree.. seemed along time since this morning.

Thanks to all who organised this. And to all who came and shared in lichen hunting.


Here are a few pictures from the conference itself, on the Saturday, and the Talk and Dinner on the  Friday night:

BLS President (for one more day) Neil Sanderson introduces Ben Averis to give a talk on the Friday evening on "Stuff you get where the weather is wet" -  Picture by April Windle

Meal at the Jubilee Hotel
(Little did we know that his time the following evening we would be sitting in the adjacent room in the romantic lighting provided by emergency lights due to a protracted power cut. - But it all added to the interest)

For lunch at the conference we explored different university venues
- The group I was with discovered the Japanese eating place about the Student Union.
I chose Chicken Katsu - my first time of eating it. (Katsu=breaded cutlet; with rice and curry sauce)
(So when I came home I sought out Chicken Katsu in the supermarket.  That makes a change from the Macaroni Pies I became addicted to on previous BLS trips to Scotland)