This survey aimed to update the taxonomy of the species present at the Rollright Stones, check previous identifications and to include the King Stone and the Whispering Knights which appear to have no previous lichen records.
We have recorded 75 taxa in 34 genera on the Rollright Stones. The most common genera are Caloplaca with 13 species, Lecanora with 6 species and Verrucaria with 10 species. All of the lichen species recorded by us at Rollright have a threat category of “LC” (Least Concern) except for Lecanora horiza, which is currently listed as “NT” (Near Threatened). Verrucaria squamulosa is Nationally Rare, though its true abundance is not yet known; Caloplaca ochracea is described as “scarce.”
Almost all of the lichen species recorded on The Rollright Stones might be expected to turn up during detailed surveys of churchyards in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. There are two interesting exceptions; Caloplaca ochracea and Clauzadea immersa are very rarely recorded in churchyards in the region. The abundance of Acrocordia conoidea and Thelidium papulare is also very unusual for this region. The last mentioned four species constitute a particularly distinctive element of the lichen communities on the Rollright Stones and the first pair of species appears to be restricted to the King’s Men.