OPAL Web Editor's blog

Celebrating citizen science for everyone at the OPAL Conference in Kew Gardens

“We are nature! It’s not out there, or over the wall. We are part of it.”

This was just on of the sentiments that emerged from OPAL’s conference held in the historic grounds of Royal Botanic Garden, Kew yesterday, 13th October 2016.  OPAL partners, collaborators and participants met for a day of discussions, talks and walks around the theme of ‘citizen science for everyone’.

OPAL Air Survey reveals environmental factors affecting tar spot of Sycamore

Fifty years ago, the large cities of the UK were still affected by severe winter smogs and high concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from industry and coal burning in the home. At that time, the black spots on Sycamore leaves caused by the tar spot fungus were almost entirely absent from cities and industrial areas. Research showed that this was directly related to the high levels of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere.

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.


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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