Lichens are not single organisms, but a fascinating symbiosis between fungi and a photosynthetic partner (usually algae). The fact that they are often hard to identify and small in size means they are frequently overlooked. However, with some basic tips and practise, you will find lichens are strikingly varied and a very rewarding group to study - opening up a whole new world to explore, which you can enjoy all year-round.

The south-west of England is internationally important for its lichens of coastal and upland woodland. To help with their conservation, we are offering free training in the Exmoor area for those interested in lichens to develop their identification skills. A series of 2-day foundation courses will take place in Spring 2019. On completing the 2-day workshop, participants will have an opportunity to register for an advanced course (as part of our New Generation Botanist programme) to develop more in-depth ID skills. Advanced courses are free but require commitment to attend 10 sessions on Exmoor over the course of a 12 month period, as well as taking part in own study and peer-supported study sessions.
 
This training is being run by Plantlife in partnership with the British Lichen Society, as part of a 3.5 year project to protect and conserve the south-west’s internationally important temperate rainforests and their rare and threatened lichen and bryophyte species. The project is funded by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of the Building Resilience in South West Woodlands project
 
Please note places on these courses are limited. Our aim is to increase the number of people in the region who contribute to biological recording. You do not need to have any previous experience of lichen recording as you will learn about this on your course, however places are limited and so we will prioritise people who are interested in contributing to the region's lichen records beyond the course.
 
If you would like to get in touch for an informal discussion about the foundation or advanced courses, please contact Alison Smith: alison.smith@plantlife.org.uk or 07889 733232.

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* 1. Your details

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* 2. Which foundation course dates are you able to attend? We will only book you onto one of the sessions. If you can only make one of the courses, select that one. If you could attend either date and have no preference, please select both and we will allocate you to the course with the most space.

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* 3. How would you describe your current level of knowledge on lichens? (You do not need to have existing lichen identification skills to take part, this just helps us to understand your current level).

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* 4. Please tell us why you are interested in this course

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* 5. What do you hope to gain from attending this course?

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* 6. Are you interested in doing our New Generation Botanist advanced course after you complete the foundation course? The advanced course will take place on Exmoor over a 12 month period starting in late summer 2019, and will include 10 face-to-face sessions and additional peer-supported and self-directed study to develop more in-depth ID knowledge.

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* 7. We want to make sure you have an enjoyable experience. Please tell us if you have any medical/support needs that we should be aware of. Both days of the course will include indoor and outdoor sessions.

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* 8. Please tick to confirm

Thank you for expressing an interest in these courses. We will be in touch in due course to confirm your place and provide further details. Please bear with us as we are a very small team and we don't always have time to check responses to this survey every day. However we do endeavour to check responses once a week and will get in touch with you as soon as we can. In the mean time if you have any queries please email alison.smith@plantlife.org.uk

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