OPAL Air research - air quality and air pollution

How does air pollution affect our natural environment?

Dr William Purvis of the Natural History Museum talks about lichens in London, past and present.

We want to raise awareness of how air pollution and climate change shape our environment and help everyone understand the global issues it raises 

OPAL Air research
Our scientists have been conducting a number of research projects to investigate the impacts of climate change and air pollution. You can learn more about this work on the Air Centre and Climate Change Research Centre page.


Air survey - take part today

Help us monitor local air quality throughout England.

By recording lichens on trees and tar spot on sycamore leaves, you can help our scientists answer important questions about the impacts of local air pollution.

Dr Nathan Callaghan of the OPAL Air Centre discusses the tar spot of sycamore activity in the OPAL air survey

The air survey is the second of the OPAL surveys exploring the state of our environment. Everyone can take part in this valuable research project, all you need is one of our survey packs, which can be downloaded from the air survey pages.


Discover more about lichens
Lichen guide - an online guide to the air survey indicator lichens.
British Lichen Society - A society dedicated to stimulating and advancing interest in lichenology.
British Lichens - A large collection of images of British lichens.

Policy and regulation
If you are interested in learning more about government policy on air quality then please visit:

Defra -
Air Pollution Information System (APIS) -

Contact us

OPAL Air is led by Imperial College, Silwood Campus, Ascot