An important aspect of the Hill's ecology that is often overlooked is lichen.
Today was a rare chance to find out more about something that everyone will have seen but few take the time to look at in detail with Dr David Hill of the British Lichen Society as our expert guide. David last led a walk for us in 2015.
Lichens are symbiotic relationships between fungi and cyanobacteria / green algae and seen close-up these have an amazing range of colours and textures. They can be indicators of air quality and used as dating tools.
We were lucky to have perfect weather for the event, with a mild sunny morning. Thanks to funding from the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood project, we were able to lend all our participants hand-lenses to get up close to the lichen.
Walking round the Hill we were introduced to several different lichens, first on a tree in the Field then on the standing stone at the entrance to the Hill. From there we moved to look at rocks above and in the gully before finishing in a small hollow where several lichens could be seen on the ground amongst the heather, broom and gorse.
David passed on huge amounts of information, explaing why Troopers Hill with its acid soils and sandstone rock is such an important site in the area for lichens and biodiversity in general.
The full list of the lichens seen in the different locations can be seen in a brief report here:
Troopers Hill Looking at Lichens 2023
There are links to photographs of lichens on the Hill and a report produced in 2009 by Justin Smith on our Wildlife Page
Supported by the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood project