Wildlife expert launches OPAL partnership in Wales

Wildlife television presenter Dr Rhys Jones has officially launched the OPAL partnership in Wales.

Following a grant of £3 million from the Big Lottery Fund, OPAL announced last year that it would expand across the UK and work with new partners in Wales, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Rhys Jones (centre) with OPAL partners and community scientistsDelivery of OPAL’s activities will be coordinated by three organisations: North Wales Wildlife Trust, National Museum Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru), and Cofnod, the North Wales Local Records Centre.

They will work with schools, community groups and people from disadvantaged communities, as well as helping OPAL to develop Welsh language activities and resources.

Launching the partnership at the Royal Welsh Show today, Dr Rhys Jones said he believes it will “make great strides towards making science more accessible to the general public”.

OPAL Director Dr David Slawson said he was very pleased to be able to roll out the programme across Wales and the rest of the UK.

He added: “Not only are people learning more about their environment, but this valuable data is helping scientists learn a great deal about biodiversity, especially in areas they would never normally be able to study, such as back gardens.

“We hope many more people will join in, explore their neighbourhood and help us learn more about the status of the environment across the UK.”