OPAL web editor's blog

OPAL joins Glasgow's science hub to total 55 partners

OPAL has become the 55th partner to join the pioneering Glasgow City of Science (GCoS) partnership.

GCoS aims to raise the profile of the region as a world-class science destination and leverage science and technology to boost sustainable economic development and quality of life.

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Keep your eyes peeled for tree pests and diseases

It’s a prime time of year to start spotting pests and diseases that can affect the health of trees with the help of the OPAL tree health survey.

The survey, which is taking place across the UK for a second year, asks the public to report their findings – good or bad – and keep their eyes peeled for the ‘Most Unwanted’, six pests and diseases which could pose a serious threat to our trees.

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Discover what lies beneath your lawn

It is one of the world’s most precious natural resources and is vital for growing the food that we depend on for survival.

But how much do you know about the soils beneath your feet and the creatures that make their home there?

As milder temperatures begin to arrive, it’s the perfect time to discover the world beneath your lawn by taking part in the OPAL soil and earthworm survey.

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Meet the OPAL Director: Dr David Slawson

Plant scientist Dr David Slawson has been appointed as the new Director of OPAL, based at Imperial College London.

Dr Slawson, who previously worked at the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) and was involved in the development of the OPAL tree health survey, took up his new role on 10 March 2014.

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Tell us your tree survey opinions for a chance to win

Did you take part in the OPAL tree health survey last year? We need your feedback!

We're opening a two-week public poll today to find out what you liked and didn’t like about our seventh national citizen science survey, launched in May 2013.

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Tree health survey scoops Government award

The OPAL tree health survey has been recognised at Defra’s annual Team Awards, winning the department’s Civil Service Reform Award.

The survey was developed last year by OPAL partners working with the Government agencies Fera (the Food and Environment Research Agency) and Forest Research.

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Insects 'bounced back' in 2013's hot summer

2013’s hot summer gave wildlife a much-needed boost, National Trust specialists have revealed.

After six consecutive years of poor summers, the sunshine of July and August helped many species – particularly insects such as butterflies, bees and grasshoppers – to flourish.

Many plants and grasses also had a successful year and there was “an explosion of nuts, berries and seeds” later in the year.

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Gill Stevens Award will bring youngsters closer to nature

Schoolchildren in London will be able to get hands-on with nature thanks to a new award set up in memory of OPAL’s deputy director.

The Gill Stevens Award, which will run for five years, will enable seven school groups each year to visit one of the Royal Parks for a fieldwork session led by an experienced tutor from the Field Studies Council (FSC).

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