Ashfield Girls get to grips with lichens

By Anna Lavery and Gretta McCarron
OPAL Community Scientists, Northern Ireland

On 6 November, the School of Education at Queens University and the Field Studies Council were delighted to welcome Ashfield Girls School to participate in the Economic and Social Research Council Festival at Queens.

Claire Connor and her colleague Michael brought their Year 10 class to carry out an OPAL Air Survey in Ormeau Park. The girls worked in teams to carry out the activities and using the OPAL guide were surprised to find that there was such a variety of lichens in the park.

Lichen samples in a person's handWe had time to identify tree types and record tree characteristics using the OPAL Tree Health Survey guide, as well as completing the air quality survey.

Many of the girls from the school live close to Ormeau Park and as one girl said:  “This is great! I must bring my parents to show them as we often come here.” 

While completing the surveys we found out that the teacher Claire had completed her degree dissertation on lichens in Norway.

We can only hope that this knowledge will inspire these young girls to study science in the future and let them know that science offers many opportunities and is not too hard!

More blogs from us: Lichen spotting and tree maths with Fairview