Saturday 30 March 2024

SD8460 Langber: Last monad of year 5 of Lichen Survey of SD86

Today I declare 19th March to be the year end of 2023.

11 March 2019 was my first recording trip for this lichen project  starting shortly after the British Lichen Society Trip meeting at Cober Hill in Feb 2019, but I wrote up the first blog post on it on 3 April 2019.  So 19th March seems a good compromise.

The aim is to do 10 monads in SD86 each year.

New Year's day 2024 came and went - and in February 2024 I made an effort and visited  four monads (all with easy road access)

SD8466:   Cowside Farm; (road at bridge near farm)
SD8467:  The tiny fraction of Henside road near Westside House -  with snowdrift and cattle grid; that fitted into SD8467
SD8468:  The tip of the plantation at Little Catrigg pasture (looking down towards Sannat Hall and Neals Ing;    (Two visits) 
SD8469:  Tiny road stretch-Silverdale Meadow (road to Penyghent)

with scores of 26,23,24 and 19 respectively.

I just need to visit one more monad to keep up my score of visiting 10 monads a year. 

Cleatop Park Wood revisit was one possibility - I have visited Cleatop Park wood and the land below it during Covid.. but can't find the results... I will survey that again when I have more time .. though need to do it soon before the leaves come out.

So on 19 March I set off to visit Langber Lane.. a monad that looks as though it would be easy access, by parking near Scalebar Foss, then walking 2km past Wildshare Plantation. I can walk on the track and keep my never worn before WHITE Salomon Wide Speedcross (fell running) shoes clean.

By the time I have parked the car it is 4.30pm. It is a peaceful afternoon but the sun has retreated behind hazy cloud. I have put all my kit in my old red rucksack (45yr?) that has a decent waist strap and I take my Nordic Walking poles. (Can't take TWO Nordic poles and a shopping bag.

I meet Andy and Carol Evans who were returning from a run... and have a chat.  Andy used to give me lifts to work. Years ago.

1km further I meet a new person for me - Sarah Ryecroft from Kirkby Malham. out to exercise her dogs in an area with no sheep. (It's lambing time.. And ewes get frightened - even if dogs are on a lead)  

I have a chat.

("It is like Covid Walking times again" I think)

 I know - or knew - her mother in law.  Sheila Rycroft - who I learn died 6 years ago. It was good to meet Malhamdale people again. 

I pass the highest point (301m) of my (relatively flat)  journey  (on Pendle Grit) and descended slightly towards Langber Plantation - Woodland Trust (recorded as on Bowland shale - but all the wall stones are grit). I am actually in a slight valley - the valley of Brook Gill Beck - 

The Gritstone walls are very species poor, lichen wise. Parmelia saxatilis was the only foliose lichen on the grit capstones - no Platismatia glauca Parmelia omphalodes or Pseudevernia furfuracea;

These seem to do better in more exposed areas on the top of hills - e.g. Hunter Bark 2km to the west and Scosthrop High Moor (potentially) 2 km to the NE.

I find one record of Hypogymnia physodes on stone, but two on wood posts. 

Some of the walls by the track between Langber Plantation and the stream have a good coating of acid rock loving mosses - including a sheet of Frullania tamarisci  and a few tiny leafy liverworts.

I find some Baeomyces rufus on the wall beside the plantation with what might be a parasite on it - round lichen colonies growing on it. It might possibly be Arthroraphis grisea.  Er probably not it has a line of resistance round the edge - still need to check it.


I have now visited 50 monads with scores of 19 or more (i.e. almost 20 or more) ,  but 24 of them have less than 29 species so I would like to visit all those again at least once - and some may need several visits to get their scores up to 30 plus.

The average number of lichens recorded per monad is now down to 32.32 (The highest it ever was was 34)

I have seen 181 different species. (on the BLS website the total number of species recorded for SD86 is 348)

Friday 8 March 2024

A visitor to Sheffield in Yorkshire.

On 1 March I attended a Green Christian Board Meeting at Sheffield, which included  planning meetings on the Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. On the Saturday we had a Discussion Day with some local Green Christian members held at a church in Sheffield. (St John's Park)

Some statistics I live in Yorkshire (N Yorkshire is England's biggest county) and Sheffield is in Yorkshire (Yorkshire is divided into several counties now)

But both Settle and Sheffield are perched high in the Pennine Hills with no direct route in between. So it was an adventure for me.

There are  c 5 million people living in Yorkshire which is the same as the population of Scotland,  0.6 million of these live in North Yorkshire (big towns Scarborough (0.061) and Harrogate (0.089 million) .  

0.6 million people live in Sheffield (0.68 actually).  0.3 million live in Bradford and 0.46 live in Leeds. In between these are other big Cities and towns of the northern conurbation with population of more than 0.05 million: York, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Barnsley, Castleford, Dewsbury.

In comparison 7.5 million people live in London, or 9 million, according to source - and London is the 37th biggest city in the world.   

There are three parts to the report:

1.  The journey - always an adventure for me.

2. The stay at the Church Army Centre at Sheffield called the Wilson Carlisle Centre (I recommend it as a good place to stay if you are in Sheffield)

3. The lichens and wild plants of the St John's Park Church churchyard, (actually owned by Sheffield Council now I think) - written as a separate blog post  


1.  The journey - always an adventure for me. Plus "A sense of place and the rivers of Yorkshire"

The previous week I had travelled by car c100 miles east (ENE) (almost 3 hour driving) across Yorkshire to Cloughton, near Robin Hood's Bay on the East Coast near the source of the River Derwent which flows west inland into the Ouse south of York .   It was for a British Lichen Society Meeting.

Next weekend I will be travelling 40 miles by train to  Leeds for a meeting of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. (I live seven miles from the source of the river Aire  and Leeds is on the Aire which flows east into the Ouse. (Providing the train runs of course.)

This weekend I travelled across Yorkshire 86 miles out (SE) this time by public transport:  It is about 2.5 hours by car. Today I had planned to go by train . However there was a strike - So It was by bus . Here is a map of Yorkshire printed by Caxton showing the rivers 

Sheffield is at the centre very bottom of Caxton's map of Yorkshire.. Sheffield is on the River Don which joins the River Aire near Snaith; (which then joins the Ouse a few miles east of where the Derwent joins the Ouse. No wonder there si sometimes flooding at Snaith)

Sheffield is at the centre of the map below about at the place where the capital D or Derwent is written.

I left home at 7.:25. With my red shopping bag, white plastic bag (food rations for the journey) and rucksack. I  walked (very fast) the 1.5 miles to town; caught the 7.55 bus Settle-Skipton  (£2-00); with a  mini gap caught the bus Skipton to Ilkley (£2-00); (I was guided in the transition between buses by Philippa a friend from Settle who just happened to be on the same bus) 

At Ilkley there was a 20 minute gap. This was useful as the bus did not go from the stand as stated on  Google maps.  There were only three stands so it was possible to guard/watch all three stands at the appropriate time.

I caught the bus from Ilkley to Leeds - with 66 potential stops (stop. start. bend ..stop. start. bend.. bend. stop. bend. - so it seemed)  (£0.0 as by now it was past rush hour and  could use my senior citizens pass)  to Leeds. 

Then Luxury! on National Express (£6-00)  from Leeds to Sheffield. Wedged into a comfortable seat, in a warm bus speeding down the motorway with torrential sleet and rain obscuring the view through the big windows. 

At Sheffield, although Google maps told me there was a wealth of public transport to my destination, I put on all my waterproofs and walked. 

Sheffield has a wealth of options of public transport but it is hard for a newcomer to understand. - The following morning I had to use a tram but I could not work out how to get one or where they stop. (One of the other participants turned up late at our meeting because she had got on a tram going the wrong way - so I felt even happier I had arrived walking.

For other newbies to Sheffield this is what a tram stop looks like: 

I actually had an hour and a half to spare now (I had had to build that into my journey in case I messed one of the connections)

So I went to see the Exhibition "Threads of Creation" at Sheffield Cathedral.  I had coffee in the tea room and chatted to a lady there. I met a Canon Richard Walton who told me a little about the history o the cathedral. Their Cathedral has a bronze Eco Church Award. I met another helpful lady who when I asked her took a picture of me standing in front of one of the tapestries.

I used google maps, it took me walking about 270 degrees around the cathedral but eventually sussed where I was and I walked to .. The Wilson Carlile centre. Here I met the committee in time to be shown to my room and then return for the afternoon meeting in a modern committee room.

Wilson Carlile (14 January 1847 - 26 September 1942) was a Christian, an English priest and evangelist who founded the Church Army in 1882

(This is different to the Salvation Army, from Wikipedia:  William Booth had already seen the extreme poverty and need for unorthodox evangelism work, and since 1865 had been developing a similar mission (in 1878 given the name "The Salvation Army"), using similar "Christian soldier" metaphors, also in London slums. Church of England bishops approached Booth about the time Church Army was founded to join in their work in the slums, but he declined.[6] Both the Church Army and the Salvation Army continued to work in the slums; both had some difficulty with their parent churches (Church of England and Methodist) being able to cope with those coming out of the slums as a result of the mission work, and realised the need for alcohol-free refuges.)

They have a useful committee room.

On the Saturday we had a workshop which we held at St John's Park Church. I have written a separate Blogpost about the lichens in the churchyard there

On The Sunday morning we held a service  led by Andrew our chaplain in the Chapel of the Wilson Carlile Centre.

They had a transparent lectern, like the one I saw at Coventry about 10 years ago - I really like it.

We had more committee meetings and then left. I stayed on to browse in their well stocked library.

Grove books

Lichens at St John's Park Church, Sheffield

 Come with me on a walk round the grounds of St John's Park Church, Sheffield.

The church was used by the charity Green Christian to host a day workshop  on 2 March 2024 discussing the many roles and activities of Green Christian. During the lunch break some of the participants explored the surrounds of the church to look at lichens and other wildlife. There is a magical world it you look at it though a hand lens  (magnifying glass x 10).

The church is located at SK364875. The war memorial with the Trapelia coarctata lichen is next to it at SK3698757.

(You can see what lichens have been found here in the past if you go to

Safety warning - don't walk on the horizontal grave stone slabs (which look like a footpath)  when wet:- they are slippy.
The grassland slopes up above the church giving good views across Sheffield
I was pleased to visit this site - it is next to the Sheffield incinerator which featured in a Green Christian video recently.
The land is owned I think by the council now, not the church; 
I include a few pictures of wildflowers and trees in the churchyard at the end of this blog-post

Hand lens

We walked up to the top of the grounds where  there is a row of mostly sycamore trees near the path.

Parmelia sulcata on tree trunk. It has whitish ridges on the thallus

Maple tree. It's trunk has strong ridges and furrows but they are very narrow . (Unlike sycamore that has flaky bark)  You can seel the slippery gravestone slabs beyond.

Buds of the maple

Hyperphyscia adglutinata - on several trees. A very tiny foliose lichen. 
They don't seem to have any records of it in Sheffield - So it is especially important I send this record in. See map  It is much more common in the south of England but is spreading north. however like nearly all the lichens seen today it is one that grows where is a lot of reactive nitrogen air pollution. 

Hyperphyscia adglutinata 

Lecidella eleochroma

Punctellia subrudecta

Centre: Candelaria concolor tiny frilly yellow lichen

Candelaria concolor

Goat Willow - male catkins
Two benches at the top of the grass area
provided good habitat for lichens

Melanalexia subaurifera on bench

One of the sycamore tree trunks at the top
had a really dense covering of Physcia adscendens

Erythricium aurantiacum 

When lichenologists have finished looking at lichens, and feel that lichens are not obscure enough,  they then then start looking at Lichenicolous fungi - fungi that grow on lichens. 

The grey leafy lichen with helmed shaped lobes  is Physcia adscendens  and the pale peach pink orange balls growing on it are the lichenicolous fungus Erythricium aurantiacum.

Candelariella reflexa  the yellow powder.

While we were outside the others were inside choosing a variety of items from our shared lunch. 

The next three pictures are of a crustose lichen (slight pinkish grey crus) growing on the slabs on top of the wall round the wall memorial, that I looked at with Catherine at the end of the conference
Trapelia coarctata growing on the flat capstones on the wall round the wall memorial.

Trapelia coarctata growing on the flat capstones of the wall round the wall memorial.
 The divisions on this scale are 0.1 mm.  These brown discs with a white rim that is jagged on the inside are the fruiting bodies of the lichen. 

On the ground - path near the church - Lecanora muralis rather wet.

I think this fungus may be a species of Omphalina and it is growing on Didymodon insulanus moss which was growing over the path

More Omphalina nearby. I think the moss is a different species of Didymodon here, because the leaves are straight.

The incinerator opposite the church

Before the conference started I had a walk round the churchyard looking for wildflowers. March is not the best time .. as wildflowers from 2023 have died, and only a few early spring species have started to grow. Also it was a wet morning. But in a quick look round this is what I found:


Speedwell close-up

Common Chickweed

You'll know this one!

Red Dead-nettle



Plastic grass planted below the bushes near the flats

Spring Whitlow-grass

Goat Willow


Sloe - This is out quite early - It is only 2 March

Poplar Catkins on the polar tree