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Welcome to the British Lichen Society

The British Lichen Society welcomes all who are interested in lichens, whether you are a complete beginner or someone with a life-time’s experience of lichenology. Throughout the world, but with a special emphasis on the British Isles, our aims are:

  • to promote and advance the teaching and study of lichens;
  • to encourage and actively support the conservation of lichens and their habitats;
  • to raise public awareness of the beauty of lichens and of their importance as indicators of the health of our environment.

We work towards these aims through field meetings, workshops and recording projects. Our Bulletin is packed with information about lichens, lichenologists and events, and we also publish a highly regarded scientific journal, The Lichenologist.

Lichen Hunting in Mid-Wales - © Alan D. Hale
Usnea florida - © Alan D. Hale
Lobaria pulmonaria - © Alan D. Hale
Dibaeis baeomyces
Cladonia diversa - © Ray G. Woods
Lichens on Concrete Children - © Mike Simms
Cladonia cervicornis ssp. verticillata - © Paul L. Smith
BLS Field Meeting - © Mike Simms
Cladonia display - © Karen Dillman
Teloschistes chrysophthalmus - © Paul Whelan

About Lichens

Learn about the fascinating dual nature of lichens and how two completely different types of organisms come together to make something quite new. Find here also information on lichen ecology, conservation etc. and the naming of lichens.

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Churchyard Lichens

Churchyard Lichens

Churchyards in unpolluted areas provide extremely important refuges for many lichens. The BLS has a group dedicated to the study and conservation of churchyard lichens.

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Join Us!

Become a member of BLS and enjoy access to the BLS Bulletin, The Lichenologist (including an online version), referees to help with lichen identification and many other benefits.

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Latest News

11 July 2014 -  New Churchyard and Burial Ground Information Pack: The Caring for God's Acre project have just published a fabulous resource for schools to encourage them to get classes out exploring their local churchyards as part of their schoolwork. It includes projects to make kids aware of lichens and get them to look closely at them, photograph them and use them as the basis for art work.

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Photo Competition

The BLS is organising its first ever lichen photography competition. Photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels are invited to enter this competition which aims to showcase the beauty and wonder of lichens.

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Information Resources

Under the Resources section of the website you will find a wealth of useful information relating to lichens in Britain and Ireland, including:

Taxon Dictionary - a searchable database  which will enable you to establish which is the current accepted name for any taxon, as well as its threat status and level of statutory protection;

Species Accounts - authorative descriptions with photos and distribution maps (this section currently only holds a few species but many more will be added in due course);

Bibliographic Database - a searchable database of published scientific literature pertaining to lichens.

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by Dr. Radut