Mosses and lichens in orchards

Members of BHCG attended a morning workshop on mosses & lichens in orchards, organised under the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) initiative and led by Agneta Burton and Mari Walton from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire.
Most of the specimens were found at Bush Farm, but we also had some interesting finds In the Walled Garden. Looking at the specimens under a hand lens, and even more so under a microscope, revealed the beauty and complexity of two groups of organisms which tend to be overlooked by many naturalists, and, in the case of mosses, treated as untidy weeds by gardeners. We thank Agneta and Mari for a stimulating session.

Marion Hofmann kindly sent us some photos, two of which are reproduced below.

Agneta points out the features of a moss

Lichens are not always flat disks

John Barrington
3 October 2012