Would you like to find out more about your local air quality? Why not use our simple introductory level lichen air survey to find out about the health of your local environment. A citizen science survey suitable for individuals, groups or schools.

Lichen project © NBN Atlas Scotland

Project topic: Air

Air pollution is a huge global environmental health issue, as recognized by the World Health Organisation.  The air quality in Scoltand is generally very good, however we have 'hotspots' is our cities that regularly exceed national and EU limits for air pollution.  These limits are set because of the harmful impacts on human and enivronmental health. Lichens are extraordinary organisms.  Un-noticed by many people, they colonize trees (and many other surfaces) in urban areas.

Most lichens are very sensitive to air pollution and the presence or absence of certain species can be used to indicate local air quality.  As such lichens can make invisible air pollution visible.

You can do the survey in your street, your local park, school grounds or place of work. You can do the suvey at any time of the year because lichens are not seasonal.

The survey uses experiential learning to get you to really explore the air we breathe, your local area, local sources of pollution, and doing a very simple lichen 'hunt'.  It helps you or your group to explore how you can help improve your local air quality & work towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 

This page was last updated on 03 Oct 2016

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