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Article and photographs by YNU member Judith Allinson

Have you ever noticed the brightly coloured patches of growth that occur on our rocks, walls, trees and gravestones?  These are lichens.  A lichen consists of a symbiotic association between a fungus and algae or cyanobacteria, which together are able to grow in stressful places where neither could grow by themselves.  The British Lichen Society promotes the study, enjoyment and conservation of lichens by running training courses, organising field meetings and publishing a journal, The Lichenologist, which is sent to subscribers around the world.

The British Lichen Society (BLS) chose to spend its 2017 Spring Workshop at Malham Tarn Field Centre on the 18th to 25th April.  It was led by two eminent lichenologists: Dr Allan Pentecost, current president of the BLS, and Dr Brian Coppins, former lichen specialist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.  Twenty members took part in the workshop, visiting sites each morning to look for lichens growing on limestone.  On the very first day they discovered a rare species called Sclerococcum griseisporodochium that had only been recorded twice before in England - it was growing less than 200 metres from the Field Centre!

Other activities during this highly successful field meeting included a walk from Malham Tarn down the dry valley that leads to Malham Cove, where the group were happy to show many passing walkers how to look at lichens through hand-lenses, an exploration of some old lead mine spoil above the Field Centre at 1700ft (518m) and a visit to Lower Winskill Farm where farmer and archaeologist Tom Lord enabled the group to compare lichens growing on walls of different ages on his farm.

There are almost 2,000 species of lichen in Britain.  Over 950 taxa of lichens and associated fungi have been found in Yorkshire, but only 756 are thought to be still growing in Yorkshire.  Dr Pentecost and Prof Mark Seaward of Bradford University made a study of lichens within a 5 km radius of Malham Tarn in 2001 and 346 species were recorded, including 48 from old records.  This list will be increased after the April week. It is also possible that several of the specimens that they found on the week will be used in helping to give names to lichens that have not yet been named - yes there are new species to be found!

Allan Pentecost gained a love for the area when he attended a university field course from Imperial College at Malham Tarn in 1969, but he had gained an interest in lichens much earlier than that. Both he and Brian Coppins had attended the same secondary school and were taken on a field course to a Scottish island (Handa) whilst studying at Tunbridge Wells Technical School for Boys with their teacher John Charman. This shows the importance of encouraging children and young people to go on field trips.  Allan Pentecost said: “Every walk in the countryside turns a few hours of exercise into a voyage of discovery”

Brian Coppins, Allan Pentecost and Janet Simkin in Malham Dry Valley

(19th June 2017)



The Natural History Museum has launched a new citizen science project called Orchid Observers. You can take part by photographing an orchid, identifying it and submitting your record - further information can be found below:

Photograph wild orchids and extract data from three centuries of Museum specimens to help us examine what impact climate change is having on the UK’s orchids.

Why we are doing the project

Fifty-six native species of orchid grow wild in the UK, flowering from April to September.

Recent research indicates that climate change is affecting the flowering time of the early spider orchid, Ophrys sphegodes. We want to find out if this is true for other wild orchids and whether all species are responding in the same way, starting with 29 species.

To gather data from across the UK, we need as many people as possible to photograph orchids this spring and summer, and to send us the images with the date and location.

Alongside this, we have around 15,000 orchid specimens in the Museum's British and Irish herbarium. Collected over three centuries, they can tell us about flowering times in the past. Extracting data from so many specimens is a huge task, so we need your help.

How to take part

Outdoor photography activity

1. Read the photography instructions PDF (141KB) and the identification guide PDF (16.1MB) to find out which species we are targeting.

2. Take a walk in your local area to look for orchids.

3. Photograph any orchids you see.

4. Upload your photographs at

5. (Optional) Use the online tools to identify your orchid.

Online activity

1. Visit (registration is optional).

2. Choose to identify photographs others have uploaded, or extract data from the Museum's historical specimens.

3. Follow the online instructions to identify the orchid in the photograph or record the collection date and flowering stage of the historical specimen

- See more at:


Appendix from Flora of Aberford by Michael Pearson (The Naturalist 140 (1088) p44-47).


Appendix 2. List from The Flora of the West Riding, giving the locations of the plants as noted by Spencer.     

It can also be downloaded as a Word file by clicking here        


Thalictrum majus                        Aberford

Anemone memorosa                  Aberford

Adonis autumnalis  #                  Bunker’s Hill Gardens

Ranunculus aquatalis #              Aberford

R. ficaria                                      Aberford

R. lingua                                      Cock Beck

R. auricomus                              Becca Aberford

R. bulbosus                                 Aberford

Caltha palustris                           Aberford

Trollius europaeus                      Bramham Park

Helleborus viridis                         Becca Banks

Aquilegia vulgaris                         Becca Banks & Hayton Wood

Aconitum napellus                       Bramham Park

Berberis vulgaris                          Aberford

Nuphar lutea  #                            Cock Beck

Papaver argemone                     6/4/1876

Papaver rheas                              Aberford

Meconopsis cambrica                 Bramham Park

Chelidonium majus                     Aberford

Fumaria capreolata                     Aberford Bunker’s Hill Gardens

Fumaria officinalis                       Aberford

Thlaspi arvensse  #                     Cock Beck below the Bridge

Capsella bursa pastoris              Aberford

Hutchinsia petraea                      Front of Alms Houses Bramham Park

Armoracia rusticana                   Aberford Church Yd

Cardamine amara                       Nab Wood

Cardamine pratensis                  Aberford

Barbarea vulgaris                       Cock Beck

Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum Aberford

Sisymbrium officinale                 Aberford

Allium ursinum                            Aberford

Sinapsis arvensis                        Aberford

Sinapsis alba                               Aberford

Reseda luteola                              Aberford

Reseda lutea                                Lotherton Lane Aberford

Viola odorata                                 Aberford

Viola alba                                       Aberford

Viola canina                                  Aberford

Viola arvensis                                Aberford

Polygala vulgaris                           Aberford Park

Silene inflate                                  Aberford

Lychnis flos-cuculi                       Aberford

Silene alba                                    Aberford

Silene dioica                               Aberford

Agrostemma githago                  Aberford

Moehringia trinervia                    Aberford

Stellaria nemorum                      Aberford

S. media                                      Aberford

S. holostea                                  Aberford

S. graminea                                Aberford

Cerastium glomeratum              Aberford

Linum catharticum                     Aberford

Malva moschata                         Near Cock Beck Aberford

Malva sylvestris                          Aberford

Hypericum perforatum              Aberford

H. tetrapterum                            Aberford

H. pulchrum                                Aberford              

Acer campestre                          Aberford

Acer pseudo-platanus                Aberford

Geranuim phaeum                      Becca Aberford

G. pratense                                  Aberford

G. pyrenaicum                              Aberford Bar

G. pusillum                                    Aberford

G. molle                                         Front of Alms houses

G. robertianum                               Aberford

Oxalis acetosella                           Aberford

Euonymus europaeus                  Beck Side Aberford Lower part of Rein Hook moor

Cytisus scoparius                         Becca Banks

Ulex europaeus                             Aberford

Genista tinctoria                            Vicarage Aberford

Genista anglica                              Becca [illeg] Cover [?]

Ononis repens                              Aberford Park Field Lane

Anthyllis vulneraria                       Field top near Hayton Wood, Ditch side in plantation side of Lotherton Lane

Melilotus officinalis                       Cold Hill Quarry Cock Beck Aberford

Trifolium repens                           Aberford

T. pratense                                   Aberford

T. campestre                               Aberford

Lotus corniculatus                      Aberford

Onobrychis viciifolia                   Aberford

Vicia sativa                                   Aberford

Vicia hirsute                                 Aberford

Lathyrus pratensis                      Aberford

Prunus spinosa                           Aberford

Prunus padus                             Aberford

Filipendula ulmaria                     Aberford

Geum urbanum                          Aberford

G. rivale                                       Aberford

G. intermedium                          Found at Seven Arches June 1876

Agrimonia eupatoria                  Aberford

Potentilla anserine                     Aberford

P. reptans                                   Aberford

P. erecta                                      Aberford

P. sterilis                                     Aberford

Fragraria vesca                          Aberford

Rubus discolor                           Aberford

Rubus caesius                            Aberford

Rosa pimpinellifolia                    Aberford

Rosa canina                               Aberford

Sanguisorba officinalis               Aberford

S. minor                                       Aberford

Alchemilla vulgaris                      Aberford

Alchemilla arvensis                     Aberford

Crataegus monogyna                 Aberford

Malus sylvestris                           Aberford

Sorbus aria                                  Aberford

Sorbus aucuparia                        Aberford

Epilobium hirsutum                    Aberford

E. parviflorum                              Aberford Cock Beck Parlington Lane

E. montanum                               Aberford

Circaea lutetiana                        Near Cock Beck Bramham Park Parlington Lane

Myriophyllum spicatum   #          Hook Moor

Callitriche species?                     Nab Wood 3/6/76

Lythrum salicaria                        Ditch near Cock Beck Cock Beck

Bryonia dioica                             Aberford

Ribes uva-crispa                         Aberford

Sedum acre                                 Aberford

Sedum rupestre  #                      Aberford

Sempervivum tectorum             Aberford

Parnassia palustris  #                 Intrenchment Aberford Bramham Park

Hedera helix                                Aberford

Cornus sanguinea                       Aberford

Sanicula europaea                       Aberford

Conium maculatum                     Aberford

Aegopodium podagraria              Aberford

Conopodium majus                    Aberford

Pimpinella saxifrage                    Aberford

P. major                                       Near Cold Hill Farm

Angelica sylvestris                      Aberford

Daveus carota                             Field top near Aberford Bar

Caucalis daucoides  #                 Cold Hill

Anthriscus caucalis                     Aberford

Anthriscus sylvestris                  Aberford

Sambucus nigra                          Aberford

Viburnum opulus                          Aberford

Lonicera periclymemum            Aberford

Galium verum                             Aberford

Cruciata laevipes                        Aberford

Galium palustre                           Aberford

G. witheringii                                Aberford

G. saxatile                                    Aberford

G. mollugo                                    Aberford

G. aparine                                     Aberford

Sherardia arvensis                      Aberford Rein

Gallium odorata                            Aberford

Valeriana dioica                             Aberford

V. officinalis                                   Aberford

Dipsacus fullonum                       Aberford

Scabiosa pratensis                      Aberford

Scabiosa columbaria                   Aberford

Tragopogon pratensis                  Cock Beck Aberford

Leontodon saxatilis                       Aberford

Sonchus arvensis                        Aberford

S. oleraceus                                Aberford

Pilosella officinarum                    Aberford

Taraxacum offininale                   Aberford

Cichorium intybus  #                   Aberford

Arctium lappa                                Aberford

Cardus tenuiflorus                      ‘This maritime species is reported from Aberford by C.Gray’ [/ inmargin]

Centaurea nigra                            Aberford

C. cyanus                                      Aberford

C. scabiosa                                  Aberford

Eupatorium cannabinum              Aberford

Tanacetum vulgare                       Aberford

Artemisia vulgaris                         Aberford

Gnaphalium diorcum                    Woodhouse Grange, Aberford

G. uliginosum                              Beck Aberford

Filago germanica  #                     Aberford

Petasites hybridus                      Cock Beck

Tussilago farfara                          Aberford

Senecio vulgaris                           Aberford

S. jacobaea                                   Aberford

Doronicum pardalianches          Peel Park Bradford Bramham Park, Garforth Nun Appleton

Bellis perennis                               Aberford

Leucanthemum vulgare             Aberford

Tanacetum pathenium               Aberford

Chamaemelum nobile                Aberford

Achillea ptarmica   #                   Becca

Achillea millefolium                    Aberford

Campanula rotundifolia             Aberford

C. latifolia                                    Aberford

C. glomerata                              Aberford                

Calluna vulgaris                          Aberford

Erica tetraliix  #                           Aberford

Ilex aquifolium                             Aberford, of very large size

Fraxinus excelsior                       Aberford

Vinca minor  #                             Aberford

Gentiana verna  #                       Aberford Raper Hills

Gentianella amarelle                  Parlington Park Hook Moors

Centaurium erythraea                Aberford Park Bad Barley Field

Blackstonia perfoliate                 Aberford Near Beck, Becca, Roman Ridge

Menyanthes trifoliate  #               Hillam Mill Black Fen Bramham Park

Polemonium coeruleum            White flowered Aberford, Cock Beck Aberford

Convolvulus arvensis                  Aberford

Calystegia silvatica                      Aberford

Hyoscyamus niger                      Collingham Coal Yard Found in N Bloome Esq Pleasure Grounds May 1863

Solanum nigrum                          Aberford

Atropa belladonna                         Becca Banks Parlington Lane

Verbascum thapsus                    Quarry on Hook Moor

Veronica anagallis-aquatica         Mill pond Aberford

V. beccabunga                              Aberford

V. officinalis                                   Aberford

V. chamaedrys                              Aberford

V. agrestis                                      Aberford

V. polita                                          Behind School Aberford

Odontites vernus                           Aberford

Euphrasia officinalis                     Aberford

Rhinanthus minor                        Aberford

Melampyrum pratense   #            Intrenchment Aberford

Scrophularia auriculata                Aberford

Digitalis purpurea                       Near Parlington Lake

Antirrhinum majus  #                 Bramham Park

Linaria vulgaris                             Aberford

Chaenorhinum minus                 Aberford

Lathraea squamaria  #                Aberford Bramham Park

Verbena officinalis  #                  Aberford

Salvia verbenaca                         Bramham Moor

Mentha piperita                             Cold Hill

Thymus chamaedrys   #             Aberford

Origanum vulgare                       Aberford

Teucrium scorodonia                  Aberford

Ajuga reptans                              Aberford Found white flowered Bugle in Bad Barley field Becca July 13th 1863

Ballota nigra                                Aberford

Lamiastrum galeobololon          Aberford

Lamium album                            Aberford

L. amplexicaule                           Aberford

L. purpureum                              Aberford

Galeopsis ladanum  #                 Aberford

G. segetum  #                              Aberford

G. tetrahit  #                                  Aberford

G. speciosa  #                              Aberford

Stachys officinalis                        Aberford

S. palustris                                   Aberford

S. sylvatica                                    Aberford

S. arvensis                                    Aberford

Glechoma hederacea                  Aberford

Myosotis scorpioides                     Aberford

M. laxa                                          Ditch between Field Lane & Beck

Lithospermum arvense   #         Becca

Symphytum officinale                On side of Coal Line from Garforth to Aberford

Pentaglottis sempervivens        Aberford

Echium vulgare                          Bramham Moor

Pinguicula vulgaris  #                  Becca Whincover[?] Between Bramham Park and Boothcliffe House

Primula vulgaris                          Aberford

P. elatior                                       Aberford

P. veris                                         Aberford

Lysimachia vulgaris  #                Bramham Park

L. nemorum                                 Aberford

Anagallis arvensis                        Aberford

A. tenella                                       Field above Shipley Glen July 1876

Plantago major                             Aberford

P. media                                       Aberford

P. lanceolata                                Aberford

Chenopodium bonus-henricus  Bramham Park

Persicaria bistorta                       Garforth Lotherton

P. maculosa                                 Aberford

Polygonum aviculare                  Aberford

Fallopia convolvulus                   Aberford

Rumex obtusifolius                     Aberford

R. conglomerates                       Aberford

R. acetosa                                   Aberford

R. acetosella                                Aberford

Daphne laureola                          Roman Ridge Hayton Wood

D. mezereum                              Several plants in Becca Whincover[?] on the side of Leeds & YorkRoads

Euphorbia helioscopia                Aberford

E. exigua                                      Aberford

Buxux sempervirens                   Aberford

Mercurialia perennis                    Aberford

Urtica urens                                  Aberford

U. dioica                                        Aberford

Parietaria judaica                          Park Wall Aberford

Humulus lupulus                           Hedge side of Lotherton Lane

Ulmus procera                              Aberford

Quercus robur                               Aberford

Fagus sylvatica                              Aberford

Carpinus betulus                           Aberford

Corylus avellana                           Aberford

Alnus glutinosa                             Aberford

Betula pubescens                         Aberford

B. pendula                                     Aberford

B. glutinosa                                    Aberford

Populus alba                                  Aberford

P. tremula                                      Aberford

P. nigra                                          Aberford

Taxus baccata                               Aberford

Spiranthes spiralis                      Bramham Park gathered 6 specimens July 1863

Neottia nidus-avis                       Gathered 3 specimens in Bloom at B. Park August 26th 1865

Listera ovata                                  Aberford

Epipactis palustris  #                  Cock Beck Hayton Wood

Orchis mascula                            Aberford

O. maculate                                  Aberford

Gymnadenia conopsea               Aberford abundant

Habebaria bifolia#                        Aberford Hawsworth

Coeloglossum viride                   Rombalds Moor July 1877

Coeloglossum albida                  Becca & Bramham Park

Ophrys apifera                             Cold Hill Quarry

Iris pseudo-acorus                      Aberford (Lead)

Crocus vernus                              Vicar’s Glebe Aberford

C. nudiflorus  #                             Aberford

Narcissus poeticus                      Vicar’s Glebe Aberford

N. pseudo-narcissus                   Lotherton Park Lead Hall Behind School, Aberford 

Galanthus nivalis                          Aberford

Allium scorodoprasum               Parlington Park Vicar’s Glebe

A. ursinum                                    Aberford

Hyacinthoides nonscriptus        Aberford Becca Banks Hollinge

Ruscus aculeatus                        Bramham Park

Convallaria majalis                      Hayton Wood}  Becca Banks  } abundant

Polygonatum multiflorum             Bramham Park Mrs Wharton’s Plantation

Paris quadrifolia                           Church Yard Aberford Common

Tamus communis                        Aberford

Colchicum autumnale                Aberford – abundant

Hydrocharis masus-ranae          Baildon Moor Aug 11/77

Stratiotes aloides                         Darcy Gap

Alisma plantago-aquatica          Aberford Mill pond – beck

Sagittaria sagittifolia  #              Cock Beck Aberford

Potamogeton natans  #             Aberford

Arum maculatum                         Aberford

Sparganium minimum   #          Fish Pond Cold Hill

Juncus effuses                           Partington Lake

Luzula campestris                       Aberford

Milium effusum                             Aberford

Melica uniflora                               Aberford

Briza media                                   Aberford

Dactylis glomerata                      Aberford

Polypodium vulgare                   Bramham Park Verver’s Bushes

P. calcareum                              B. Park

Dryopteris filix-mas                    Aberford

Asplenium trichomanes             Park Wall Aberford

A. ruta-muraria                           Bramham Park

A. septentrionale                        Cold Hill Bridge

Phyllitis scolopendrium             Johnson Wood’s Well Park Wall Aberford

Blechnum spicant  #                   Bramham Park

Osmunda regalis   #                    Bramham Park

Equisetum arvense                     Aberford

E. sylvaticum  #                            Aberford

E. palustre                                    Aberford

Viscum alba                                 On maple tree at Lotherton, on thorn trees in Parlington Hollin, on poplar near Park House do hanging over stream at Lead Mill, on apple trees at Marshall’s Lotherton

Scilla verna                                         Vicar’s Glebe                                                    




# believed to be extinct