Bugs Count

Air survey – join in now

This survey can be done at any time of year.

Be part of the OPAL air survey and 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'll help our scientists answer important questions about local air quality and its impacts across England.

Indicators of air pollution

Lichen expert Pat Wolseley discusses and takes part in the air survey with a local group

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 looking for tar spot fungus on sycamore leaves. Both can tell us a great deal about local air quality.

View and compare results online
Once you've completed the survey, you'll be able to enter your results online and see your contribution instantly on our interactive map. You can also compare your results with others across the country.


Did you know?

Lichens are actually 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.


Problems entering your survey results online?
Send your completed workbook and detailed information on your site location to:

FREEPOST RSCH-CHYJ-HYYC, OPAL, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ.


Survey results so far

View and analyse all the results so far on our distribution maps and charts. How do your results compare?


What's your air pollution score?

Completed an air survey? Find out your pollution score and learn more about what your results mean.


Lichen and climate activity sheets

Become a pollution buster with the lichen and climate activity sheets available in our Kids Zone.


Explore existing air pollution data

What do we already know about air pollution? What are the causes and effects of air pollutants?



Want to learn more about lichens?

The OPAL air survey is being led by the OPAL Air Centre at Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot.