Data entry for the OPAL Air Survey is now closed. However, survey resources and identification guides can still be downloaded for free below.
Thank you to all those who took part in the survey!
Survey data submissions can be viewed on the OPAL Data Explorer. In addition, Air Survey data will soon be available for download from the OPAL website.
Discover the impacts of local air quality on our natural environment
Join in now. This survey can be done at any time of year.
Good air quality is essential for our health and for the wellbeing of our environment.
The OPAL Air Survey uses two biological indicators of air pollution:
- lichens found on trees, and also
- tar spot fungus on sycamore leaves.
How to take part
To get started, print out copies of the documents in English below, or in Welsh, ideally in colour.
The OPAL Air Survey consists of two separate activities. If you want, you can take part in just one activity at a time.
Downloads – everything you need to take part
- Air Survey Booklet (PDF, 1.5MB)
Information and recording sheet.
- Lichen Identification Guide (PDF, 767 KB)
Instructions and lichen guide.
- Tree Identification Guide (PDF, 1.8MB)
Learn to identify common UK trees.
- Air Survey recording sheets (PDF, 124KB)
Easy-to-print recording sheets (black and white).
Looking for the Welsh language survey pack?
- Visit the Welsh Air Survey page
By downloading this survey you agree to the terms and conditions for the OPAL Air Survey
Download our group leader support guide, example risk assessment, and our new printable black and white recording sheets:
Did you know?
Lichens are two types of organisms living together, a fungus and an alga. The fungus makes the body that protects the alga and the alga provides the food for the fungus.
Learn about lichens
Explore our online guide to the lichens being studied in this survey.
- Visit the British Lichen Society website
Get to know trees
Don't know your beech from your birch? Browse our photo gallery of common UK trees.
Children's activity sheets
Become a pollution buster with the lichen and climate activity sheets available in our Kids Zone.
Air Survey Results
Explore the results of the OPAL Air Survey using the OPAL Data Explorer.