08 July, 2014

Coastal lichens

Another calm & sunny, if slightly busy morning yesterday on Skokholm saw the departure of the Cardiff field group and their many bags of luggage back to mainland Pembrokeshire. Whilst it was sad to say goodbye to a great bunch of folk and the fantastic Storm-petrel monitoring equipment they had bought with them, it was also nice to welcome a new set of faces ready to enjoy the island. One of the great things I've found about island life is the variety of different characters you get to meet as the weeks go by, each travelling for a different reason and each with their own interests to share.

This week we've been joined by John Jones, a 'lichenologist' who's been studying the species of Skokholm for the past 20 years; running various island field courses throughout his time. You can't walk the cliffs without appreciating the array of low-growing plants, lichens and mosses all tucked away in various crevices, so it was fascinating to be able to learn a little more about them in the presence of an expert. Upon arrival, he wasted no time in pointing out the beautiful Golden Hair Lichen (Teloschistes flavicans) and Roccella fuciformis on a nearby stone wall- two of the rarest lichens in Britain just metres away from our rooms!

You really do learn something new everyday in this place.

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