Cemeteries in England are massively important as wildlife reserves and natural corridors. This picture shows the encrustation that occurs on older monuments made from sedimentary materials such as limestone or especially sandstone. The cemetery often acts as an 'ark' where wildlife has a toehold in the City.
|A measure of clean air in Norfolk|
© Godric Godricson
The materials found in an English cemetery are often varied and comprised of limestone, sandstone, iron, marble, brick, mortar, slate and granite. Granite is one of the least changeable materials in nature and even here we find it possible for lichen to grow on Victorian monuments. Nature is a wonderful thing and nature often conspires against a sometimes undeveloped human idea of an unchanging immortality.
Each type of stone has its own special lichen communities and we sometimes find that lichens can be found on well-established trees and wooden structures such as memorial benches.
Lichens are wonderful things and we have to curb our enthusiasm when it comes to cleaning monuments. Leave the lichen in peace and see lichens as a positive comment on air purity in a beautiful county.