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 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 many 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.
Please show care and respect to our environment.
Many animals rely on hedges for food and shelter.
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 invertebrates.
Step 3: Submit your results using our simple online form.
Ready to 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: FREEPOST RSCH-CHYJ-HYYC, OPAL, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ.
Downloads – what you need to get involved
Field notebook (PDF, 586KB) – Background information and recording sheet
Field guide (PDF, 775KB) – Full instructions
Invertebrate guide (PDF, 443KB) – A guide to common invertebrates
Group leader support pack (PDF, 350KB) – A guide for group leaders wishing to carry out the OPAL biodiversity survey
You may download these documents for use in the context of the OPAL project only. All other rights are reserved.
Identify with iSpot
Need help identifying your finds? Try the iSpot community.
Hedge fun and games
Enjoy survey-themed fun and games in our Kids Zone.
Policy and regulation
To find out about the current health of UK biodiversity and Government plans to protect wildlife, visit:
- Gov.uk – protecting biodiversity
- Welsh Government - conservation and biodiversity
- Scottish Government - biodiversity
- Northern Ireland Department of Environment - biodiversity