Community Champion: Marcia Rae

OPAL Community Champion - Marcia RaeMarcia Rae
Inverness, Scottish Highlands

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

I used the OPAL Water Survey to work with local schools in Inverness to assess the quality of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). There are 40 SuDS ponds in the city and we wished to assess their benefit to biodiversity in the urban environment.


Natalie's winter wonderland

Natalie Welden hillwalking

By Natalie Welden, OPAL Community Scientist in York

As years go, mine has been pretty awesome.

I spent all spring and summer outdoors in the fantastic scenery in Scotland, climbing munroes, pulling on my wellies for rivers days or teaching snorkelling in the chilly Clyde Sea


Citizen science: a fad or the future?

Citizen science conference

The first conference of its kind was held by OPAL partners and invited guests at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff on 1 December 2015 - an event which sought to examine the current state of Citizen Science.

Delegates braved the wet weather to attend a day of thought-provoking presentations and interactive workshops, all surrounding the question and title of the day:

'Citizen Science: A Fad or the Future?'


Community Champion: Kiani Perera

Kiani PereraKiani Perera
Wrexham, North Wales

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

I use OPAL by assisting Iwan - who is the North Wales Wildlife Trust's OPAL Community Scientist - with carrying out the six OPAL surveys, with schools around North Wales. I teach these young children about our environment and why it is so important for us to look after it.


Community Champion: Nicky Hodge

Nicky HodgeNicky Hodge
Rhyl, North Wales

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

We are using the surveys to work with local kids and youth groups and all the local schools, give them a chance to get outside and learn something new. The surveys are a good way of doing that.


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...


Community Champion: Leanne Thomas Evans

Leanne Thomas EvansLeanne Thomas Evans
Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent

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

OPAL has given me resources, training and the knowledge to teach the groups that I am in contact with about the environment.  

I use the resources at the primary school where I work, in the local beaver, cubs and scout groups, at Forest School sessions and most recently at the local children’s park which is undergoing development.  

I also attend local events where OPAL is present to enjoy the activities with my family and further my nature knowledge.



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