Join in now. This survey can be done at any time of year.
Discover the impacts of local air quality on our natural environment
Good air quality is essential for our health and for the wellbeing of our environment.
By taking part in the OPAL Air Survey you can find out about air quality near you and help our scientists answer important questions about the impacts of air quality across the UK.
Air pollution indicators
We can learn much about air quality from the species that live nearby.
The OPAL Air Survey is studying:
- lichens found on trees, and also
- tar spot fungus on sycamore leaves.
How to take part
To get started, print out copies of the documents in English below, or in Welsh, ideally in colour.
The OPAL Air Survey consists of two separate activities. If you want, you can take part in just one activity at a time.
Enter your results online
Once you've completed the survey, simply submit your results using the online form:
Problems entering your survey results online?
Send your results to:
OPAL, Centre for Environmental Policy,
London SW7 2AZ.
Downloads – everything you need to take part
- Air Survey Booklet (PDF, 1.5MB)
Information and recording sheet.
- Lichen Identification Guide (PDF, 767 KB)
Instructions and lichen guide.
- Tree Identification Guide (PDF, 1.8MB)
Learn to identify common UK trees.
- Electronic/ printable record sheet for multiple trees (Excel, 61KB) – for laptops/tablets, or by hand
Looking for the Welsh language survey pack?
- Visit the Welsh Air Survey page
Note: You may download these documents for use in the context of the OPAL project only. All other rights are reserved.
Download our group leader support guide, example risk assessment, and our new printable black and white recording sheets:
Did you know?
Lichens are two types of organisms living together, a fungus and an alga. The fungus makes the body that protects the alga and the alga provides the food for the fungus.
Learn about lichens
Explore our online guide to the lichens being studied in this survey.
Visit the British Lichen Society website
Get to know trees
Don't know your beech from your birch? Browse our photo gallery of common UK trees.
Children's activity sheets
Become a pollution buster with the lichen and climate activity sheets available in our Kids Zone.
Air pollution data
What do we already know about air pollution? What are the causes and effects of air pollutants?