CENNAD: Lichen Apprenticeship Scheme

Britain has a new endangered species. But this time it isn't a wild plant or fungus. Its the people who understand them - in particular, the people who understand lichens: small, symbiotic organisms that are particularly abundant in Wales.

In response, Plantlife and the British Lichen Society have come together to create the Lichen Apprenticeship Scheme.

What is CENNAD?

CENNAD is a lichen apprenticeship scheme in Wales. Through a specialist programme of supported learning activities, beginners are brought to a level where they can usefully contribute to lichen monitoring activities.

The learning focus is on epiphytic lichens, particularly species associated with Atlantic woodlands and way-side trees. A combination of learning approaches is being offered through a structured learning programme, including:

  • workshop and field training days
  • site survey
  • specialist mentoring
  • home study
  • microscope sessions
  • a travelling herbarium
  • email and web-based support via ‘Lichens of Wales’ website
  • regional group work
  • partnership support.

The training and support provided builds on good practice gained from similar apprenticeship schemes run across the UK.

CENNAD links have been forged with local organisations, forming partnerships that will continue after the scheme ends in 2018. The partners will offer apprentices microscope use, sites, meeting rooms, and support. In return apprentices will share their learning with local volunteers and provide on-site interpretation.

What does CENNAD mean?

CENNAD plays on 'cen' (Welsh for lichen), with Cennad meaning 'messenger/envoy'. Lichens are effective messengers, that tell a story about their past and current management, environmental influences and impacts - if we stop to understand the stories they tell. Our Lichen Apprentices will be trained as 'lichen envoys' engaging others in understanding the stories lichens tell us about our environment.

How do I find out more?

For more information please contact Tracey Lovering, Plantlife Cymru Lower Plants and Fungi Officer at Tracey.Lovering@plantlife.org.uk