OPAL web editor's blog

Take OPAL surveys into the classroom with new guides

Teachers in Scotland can more easily integrate OPAL surveys into science teaching with the help of new lesson plans and curriculum guides.

The resources, produced by OPAL staff based at Glasgow Science Centre and FSC Scotland, show how survey activities can fit into the country's primary and secondary curriculums.

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Enjoy OPAL activities in Welsh

Welsh language versions of all six of OPAL’s national nature surveys are now available for the first time.

Translations of the Soil and Earthworm, Air, Water and Biodiversity Surveys can be downloaded from our website, joining the existing Welsh versions of our Bugs Count and Tree Health Surveys.

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Visitors discover diversity at Imperial College

From hunting for British bugs to identifying rare species from the African rainforest, visitors of all ages explored the variety of the natural world at Imperial College’s Silwood Park Campus on Saturday.

Discover diversity: The planet's wildlife on your doorstep gave staff, students, local families and schoolchildren the chance to learn about the wildlife all around them.

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Get to know your eight-legged lodgers this autumn

They are useful pest controllers and like to share our homes, but many of us cannot identify different species of these eight-legged lodgers.

Spiders start to appear in our houses more frequently at this time of year, as some species – including the aptly-named House Spider (Tegenaria) – leave their webs in search of a mate.

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Wildlife expert launches OPAL partnership in Wales

Wildlife television presenter Dr Rhys Jones has officially launched the OPAL partnership in Wales.

Following a grant of £3 million from the Big Lottery Fund, OPAL announced last year that it would expand across the UK and work with new partners in Wales, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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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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