OPAL Web Editor's blog

The birds, the bees and the bands: OPAL hits Glastonbury

What do OPAL, Coldplay and a toad have in common?  They were all found at Glastonbury Festival this year!

This summer, the Nottingham OPAL team linked up with the British Ecological Society (BES), University of Lancaster and the James Hutton Institute to bring ecology to the biggest festival of them all - Glastonbury. 

 

Calling all gardeners! Help OPAL survey for the New Zealand Flatworm

In the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, British and Irish garden lovers are being asked to help survey for the New Zealand Flatworm, an introduced species that is a threat to earthworms.

A simple postcard has dropped through the letterboxes of 375,000 RHS members in the UK, asking them to spend a few minutes looking for New Zealand flatworms in dark, damp places in their gardens.

OPAL Survey in focus: Ashley Primary School

Each year OPAL receives a large number of survey forms from people across the UK who have completed one or more of the eight OPAL Surveys. Most of this data reaches us via our online form, but we also receive survey results through the post too. Last week we received a big brown envelope full to the brim with completed Biodiversity Survey forms, these had been sent to us by Year 5 Kestrel Class from Ashley C of E Primary School, Surrey.

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New Polli:Nation survey to help hungry and homeless pollinators

Pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies, are in decline across the UK. These insects are homeless and hungry, suffering from a lack of places to nest and feed.  To help reverse this trend OPAL has created the Polli:Nation survey which will enable everyone to:

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Community Champion: Rebecca Cairns

Rebecca CairnsRebecca Cairns
Stirling, Scotland

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

Over the past year working as a Discovering Nature Trainee with TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) I have been working with community groups within the Inner Forth/Central Belt region in Scotland. My main role has been to engage with different community groups to encourage them to use and explore their local green spaces.  

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Join us at Neighbours with Nature in Yorkshire

Mapping post-industrial site

OPAL community scientist Natalie Welden, and everyone at OPAL York, invite you to our upcoming national networking event - Neighbours with Nature - on 14 May 2016.

The theme is the role of custodians in conservation, emphasising the importance of communities in protecting and enhancing the local environment.

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OPAL data tracks spread of Tree Bumblebee

Tree bumblebee nectaring on marjoram

OPAL Species Quest survey data has provided an invaluable insight into the spread of the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), writes community scientist Annie Robinson.

The data has recently been utilised in a publication by OPAL scientists at the University of Aberdeen, comparing how citizen science recording schemes can map distribution of species compared to more traditional recording schemes.  

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