Rare lichens found in St Mary's graveyard
plural noun: lichens
1. a simple slow-growing plant that typically forms a low crusty, leaflike, or branching growth on rocks, walls, and trees.
We recently had a very interesting survey carried out at St Mary's Church which has uncovered some rare lichens in the graveyard.
With their variety of features, stonework and other substrates, churches and churchyards are hotspots for lichen biodiversity. Like many churches in Hertfordshire, St. Mary’s is built of flint and mortar, with limestone dressings. It dates mainly from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries on a Saxon site.
The number of lichens recorded was in the mid-60s. This is lower than some medieval churchyards where it is not uncommon for 100 species to be found. It does however make it all the more interesting why this should be so and, relatively speaking, St. Mary’s is still a lichen hotspot within the area.