OPAL scientist's blog

OPAL, John Muir and the Fox’s skull

Fox skull

By Matt Keyse, OPAL Community Scientist in Scotland.

“We’ve found something!”, the teenage boy shouted as he ran up the slope towards me, gasping for breath. 

“It's an animal’s burrow! Come and have a look”, he said, already turning around and sprinting back down to his friends, who were gathered around a small pile of dead wood. 

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A walk on the wet side

Red wellies standing in flowing water

OPAL's Community Scientist in York, Natalie Welden, proves there's still life after the recent floods. 

This weekend my 'better half' and I needed to escape the house. Both he and I have been very desk oriented while at work (and laptop-on-sofa oriented when at home), so it was time to get out and stretch our legs.

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My evening with Iolo (and Sandy the Squirrel)

Amy Styles and red squirrel mascot at Nature of Scotland Awards ceremony

OPAL partners TCV Scotland were Highly Commended for their Winter Woodlands Greenability Programme in the RSPB's Nature of Scotland Awards this week. OPAL Community Scientist, Amy Styles, was lucky enough to attend the glittering awards ceremony...

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Seeing the tree in a wood

By Barbara Brown, OPAL Community Scientist in South Wales

Tree in wood with zoom blur effect

If you have ever recognised a face in a crowd when you are not searching, when you are thinking about that band, or the bus times… then suddenly, something in your subconscious flashes out “look there”... you will understand how a person can pick out the needle in the haystack which is one small sick tree in a wood.

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The Ghosts of Ysgol Pencae

By OPAL Community Scientist, Barbara Brown

“There’s a slug! And a worm!" shout a group of Year 3 pupils in the middle of their OPAL bug hunt in Ysgol Pencae’s vegetable garden.

I lean over their shoulders and help the clipboard holder to record it. Then I look for the slug. “There it is – its white!” says the group’s recorder. 

It is very white, perhaps the purest white slug I have ever seen. Which makes me wonder, so I pick it up.

“Urgh – she’s picked it up!” chorus the group. I laugh and say: “It’s not very slimy, it's ticklish”.

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When we went down to the woods that day...

By Matt Keyse
OPAL Community Scientist, FSC Scotland

Scotland is blessed with a variety of natural assets and resources. Many large companies and organisations are involved with rural industries like forestry, farming and conservation but are struggling to find a supply of knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff.

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