Peulwys, Colwyn Bay
How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?
By carrying out nature activities with children from the estate.
How did you first discover/get involved with OPAL?
I met a Community Scientist at a community event with the housing association at Kinmel Bay. I had a great day making bug houses, and taking part in a tree and bug survey with Bob and children from the Chester Avenue housing estate.
What do you enjoy most about using OPAL resources / What has been your favourite moment while using them?
It was great to see some of the children holding worms as part of the Soil Survey, as they were initially very reluctant to touch them. During the introduction to the survey they saw them as "horrible slimy things", but now realise they are an essential part of maintaining a healthy environment. The children had a great time looking for worms and carrying out the soil tests.
Which is your favourite OPAL survey and why?
The Soil Survey – It's good to know about soils as we do a lot of planting of native trees, flowers and vegetables. The Soil Survey is a great way of demonstrating soil properties to the children.
Where is your favourite place to enjoy nature and why?
The Nature Trail, because we’ve worked hard there to turn a dirt track into a haven for wildlife. It is good to see what’s there as it was very neglected.
What is the most interesting/unusual/beautiful plant or animal you’ve ever seen?
Wild plants such as wild comfrey, wild garlic and wild poppy.
Who/what inspired you to work in your community?
I was brought up by community-minded parents, and I’m now at a stage in life where I feel it’s nice to give something back – I can make a difference.
What advice would you give to people who want to encourage their communities to get involved in science and nature?
Just do it. They’ll find out so many new things about the world around them, and appreciate the wonders of nature.
Any funny stories from working with a group or any moments that made you proud?
I'm proud of the children from the estate creating a show based on nature and environment. I am also very proud of the loggery that the children built.
It was great to see one of the shyest volunteer within our group showing the children how to carry out the soil tests, after having a go herself and being given some guidance by the Community Scientist. I feel this was helpful in increasing her confidence.
About OPAL Community Champions
The OPAL Community Champions scheme aims to acknowledge the contribution made by individuals to the OPAL network, to thank people for their efforts, and to act as an inspiration for others.
Over the next few weeks and months we'll be profiling our Community Champions who are nominated by OPAL's team of Community Scientists from across the UK.