Lichen Projects for Schools

The British Lichen Society receives many requests from people (of all ages) as well as from their leaders and teachers for help with project work on lichens. They are an ideal subject for exploration and study as they can be found both in an urban environment and in the countryside and can be studied throughout the year.

Many simple projects, such as those offered below, can be devised using lichens. The projects cover aspects of the National Curriculum, requirements of awarding bodies and include important skills, but seldom depend upon detailed identification. We hope that they will capture your imagination and help the development of a scientific approach to exploring the natural world. They can be used by young people and adults in schools and colleges, and can be adapted for use by field centres and other local groups.

Remember: we can put you in touch with a local lichenologist, or provide e-mail support, if you would like some help. If you are a student working on an individual project or coursework involving lichens and need help,  fill in our Project Questionnaire. Send the completed questionnaire as an email attachment to Ann Allen

Many people have contributed to these resources, notably Pat Wolseley (Lichens on Twigs; Tree Lichens and Air Pollution) and the late Jeremy Gray (photographs and computing skills). We gratefully acknowledge work by the late Tom Chester, British Lichen Society Churchyard Co-ordinator.

Ann Allen and Barbara Hilton, on behalf of the BLS Education and Promotions Committee, welcome comments on these projects and any improvements you may wish to suggest. We should be most interested to know of any work you do with lichens. Kindly send information and comments to [Ann Allen] or write to Beauregard, 5 Alscott Gardens, Alverdiscott, BARNSTAPLE, Devon, EX31 3QJ.

MS Word and other files comprising the support materials and the projects are available here for downloading and printing out. (Right-click on a link and choose Save Link As to download).


The age groups for which they are appropriate are given as Key Stages:

Key stage 1: 5-7 years (school years 1-2)

Key stage 2: 7-11 years (school years 3-6)

Key stage 3: 11-14 years (school years 7-9)

Key stage 4: 14-16 years (school years 10-11)

Post-16: 16-18 years (school years 12-13)


Support materials for projects


Projects: Key Stages 2 and 3

Projects: Key Stages 3 and 4

Key Stage 4 and Post-16