The diversity of lichens found on Lundy is astounding, with 350 species recorded so far, of which 45 are nationally scarce or rare. The tapestries of lichen are predominantly found on heathland, trees, and granite outcrops, buttresses and walls and are in such abundance due to the clean air. Lichens are particularly sensitive to sulphur dioxide and other pollutants. They are formed by a partnership between a fungus and an alga, and are found in three forms: leafy (foliose), a crust (crustose) and bushy (fruticose).
Golden Hair Lichen, Teloschistes flavicans, is one of the rarest in the UK and as such is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. This lichen is mostly found intermingled with the Heather which lines the slopes adjacent to the Battery pathway on the West coast.
One of the most accessible and abundant areas is Millcombe Valley where the trees are carpeted with a rich abundance of 120 different lichens. It is the perfect place to become acquainted with these flourishing communities.