ST9929 : Gravestones, St George's Churchyard

taken 7 years ago, near to Sutton Mandeville, Wiltshire, Great Britain

Gravestones, St George's Churchyard
Gravestones, St George's Churchyard
These gravestone are covered with moss and lichen.

Moss is a small green plant, rarely more than a few inches high, which grows anywhere not overshadowed by taller vegetation or perpetually dry. There are more than 600 species in the British Isles, growing on rocks and walls, in woodlands and on tree trunks and branches. They are important pioneers of rock surfaces, holding moisture in their leaves and building up humus in which the seeds of flowering plants can germinate.

There are two alternating generations in the life cycle of moss. The plant itself carries male and female organs. After fertilisation, these produce a capsule. Stalk and capsule together form an asexual, spore-bearing generation. The spores produced are capable of germinating into a new plant. Mosses also reproduce vegetatively, by small pieces breaking off and growing into a new plant.

As they are rootless and tend to get their nutrients from water running over or through them they are nearly always short.

Lichens do not have roots, but absorb water and gases through their upper surface, and are therefore sensitive to atmospheric pollution. For this reason they are rarely found around cities and grow best on the wetter west side of the British Isles. Those on trees thrive best on the sunny, south-west aspects of trunks and branches. Disappearance of lichen species can be used to detect rising levels of air pollution.

There are three main types. The encrusting forms, including the bright orange/dark yellow 'Xanthoria' grow on roofs, walls, gravestones, signs and tree trunks. Leaf-like species develop flat lobes spreading over bark or stones, and shrubby forms which grow vertically from the ground or hang from trees. Few have common names.
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ST9929, 88 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 11 January, 2012   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 11 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 9963 2955 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:3.9170N 2:0.3994W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 9963 2955
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Other Tags
Gravestones  Mosses and Lichens 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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