OPAL web editor's blog

Scientists to investigate why people submit survey results

OPAL scientists in York have launched a study exploring why people do – or do not – submit their results after taking part in an OPAL survey.

The study, which is being carried out by our team at the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York, is being funded by Defra.

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Capture Devon and Cornwall’s wildlife at its best

Photographers are being challenged to showcase the flora and fauna of south west England in a competition opening today.

Launched by OPAL South West and the Plymouth Woodland Project, both part of Plymouth University’s outreach programme, the competition will run until the end of August.

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£1.4m lottery grant for pollinator project

A programme to help schools and communities protect pollinating insects has been awarded £1.4 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Polli:Nation project is being developed by Learning through Landscapes in partnership with leading nature organisations including OPAL.

The activity of pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies has been valued at £430 million to UK agriculture each year, but these insects are in severe decline.

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Your Air Survey results – what have we discovered?

Where in the UK are nitrogen-loving lichens more common? Can the public identify lichens? What have you helped us learn about air quality?

These questions and more have been tackled by OPAL scientists studying results submitted for the OPAL Air Survey.

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Glasgow vounteers go daft for daffs

Volunteers and OPAL staff in Scotland have planted 2,015 daffodil bulbs and wild flowers to create a sustainable science garden in the heart of Glasgow.

The garden, which is based in Elder Park in the Govan area of the city, will also celebrate the forthcoming Glasgow Year of Green 2015.

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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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