Use Survey Form V
Natural stone outcrops are scarce in Norfolk. The variety of stone used in Norfolk church walls and gravestones represents a valuable habitat, providing niches for many lichens, mosses and ferns. Old limestone headstones are excellent sites for lichens, but many also occur on mortar of church walls, especially those made of flint.
About 75% of the Norfolk population of three scarce ferns - wall-rue, black spleenwort and maidenhair spleenwort - grow on stonework in churchyards. Other stonework plants include pellitory-of-the-wall (90% of its Norfolk population is in churchyards), wallflower and wall lettuce.
About a quarter of Norfolk’s 321 lichen species are found in churchyards; 20 of these species have the majority of their sites in churchyards and a further 20 are entirely confined to them. Old limestone headstones, the mortar of flint work and limestone tombs, cornerstones and window sills can all have their special lichens. If requested, church architects can often ensure lichens are conserved during work to these structures.
Identification of these groups is quite a specialist area and the best way to go about surveying churchyards in this way would be to enlist the help of an expert group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone 01603 598333 with your request.