Blue-grey worm

About OPAL

A celebration of OPAL's work in its first five years

Want to explore your environment and learn more about the nature right on your doorstep? Want to help UK scientists with exciting research?

The Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network is a UK-wide citizen science initiative that allows you to get hands-on with nature, whatever your age, background or level of ability.

We develop activities and resources, including our national surveys, which allow you to get closer to your local environment while collecting important scientific data. We also arrange and take part in nature events and workshops around the country.

We are funded by the Big Lottery Fund and we began in 2007, operating across England. Since January 2014, we’ve begun expanding into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland thanks to a further grant.

The OPAL network is led by Imperial College London and includes leading museums, universities and environmental organisations across the UK.

OPAL West Midlands working with local communities


OPAL at a glance


Records in our database:

Led by:
Imperial College London

Active citizen science surveys:







OPAL is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and accredited by LWEC (Living with Environmental Change).



Tree health survey

Tree health surveyLearn more about the trees around you and provide scientists with vital information about their health.


Take part in an OPAL event near you

From pond-dipping and bat walks to training courses and surveys, find out about local activities and events.