Large Red Damselfly

Biodiversity survey – join in now

The best time to do this survey is from April to November.

What’s living in your hedge?

Take part in the OPAL biodiversity survey and uncover the diverse range of wildlife in our hedges. You’ll contribute to valuable research and learn more about the importance of hedges and how you can improve them.

Hedges support many animals by providing them with food and shelter. Berries and seeds are food for birds, while holes beneath the hedge are often home to small mammals. You’ll also discover caterpillars, shieldbugs and many other invertebrates living among the leaves.

By telling us what you find, we can instantly rate the condition of your hedge and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

How to take part

Step 1: Download the easy-to-follow instructions and guides below.

Step 2: Find a suitable hedge to carry out the survey and answer the questions in the workbook. Use our guide to help you identify the invertebrates you might find.

Step 3: Submit your results using our simple online form.


Please show care and respect to our environment.

Many animals rely on hedges for food and shelter.

Enter your findings and view results so far


Downloads – what you need to get involved

Workbook (PDF, 1.1MB) – Background information and recording sheet


Field guide (PDF, 3.42MB) – Full instructions


Invertebrate guide (PDF, 934KB) – A guide to common invertebrates


Alternatively, download the whole survey pack (all of the above) as one zip file



You may download these documents for use in the context of the OPAL project only. All other rights are reserved.

Group leader support – planning, advice and ideas

Group leader support pack (PDF, 350KB) – A guide for group leaders wishing to carry out the OPAL biodiversity survey


The OPAL biodiversity survey is run by The Open University and has been developed in partnership with Hedgelink.



Need help identifying your finds? Try the OPAL iSpot community.


Enjoy survey-themed fun and games in our Kids Zone.


Learn more about the hedge awards given to every survey submitted.