OPAL Biodiversity Survey

Thank you for joining this discussion, here you will find the drafts for the reworked OPAL Biodiversity Survey. Please read the guidance notes before you download, test and comment on this draft.

You can find the Survey booklet here

You can find the OPAL hedgerow identification guide here

You can find the OPAL invertebrate guide here

All comments should be raised and if possible discussed, so that a resolution can be reached on by Friday 27th February. We will discuss any remaining issues at the meeting on the 4th March..

Thank you for your feedback.




Invert Guide

JoOPALGlasgow's picture

Text at top of spiders page reads "insects" which should be corrected to arachnids

Invert Guide and Survey book

Sarah Pierce's picture

In addition to Jo's comment on the invert guide, the top of the woodlice/centipede/millipede page says 'molluscs and annelids' instead of 'myriapods and crustaceans'

On the earwig section says “Earwigs don’t live in ears!” which is great.  It might also be worth saying that the pincers aren’t nearly as dangerous as the look, but not necessary.


For the survey book, I'm probably being too picky, but you could consider the following wording changes:

P1 - In the second paragraph the sentence reads "It can be used...", I think this would be better as "Biodiversity can be used...".  Further down the page it says that the clawdd is “commoner”.  I think this is technically ok, but would sound better as “more common”

P2 – “Hedges act as corridors or ‘roadways’ for small creatures, such as hedgehogs and dormice, to travel along under their protective vegetation.” The word “along” is superfluous

P4 – It says “If there is a lot of bee or wasp activity, there may be a wasp nest nearby, so survey a different stretch of hedge” should just say “a nest” or “a bee or wasp nest”, or could just be shortened to “If there is a lot of bee or wasp activity, survey a different stretch of hedge”

P5 – There are two full stops after the word ‘photographs’

P9 – There is a note about being careful not to disturb nesting birds.  I think this is something that should maybe be mentioned earlier in the pack, and perhaps suggest that if they think there is a nesting bird to choose a different stretch of hedge.


I didn’t notice anything to change in the hedgerow guide

Survey Booklet and Invert Guide

Alison Dyke's picture

Survey Guide

P1 Could the image of ‘Field boundary hedges, Shropshire’ be zoomed in on the hedges and crop out the foreground?

P3 A mobile phone (in case of emergencies or to find your location)

P5 Participants often ask for guidance in choosing a stretch of hedge. Could change para 2 to read: ‘Choose a representative 3 metre stretch of hedge.’

P6, Qu6, ’location’ would be better aligned left and needs a full stop.

P10 Blank spaces at the foot of the page for ‘Other’ need to have a ‘Other’ as a text description as well as the explanation at the top of the page.

Invert Guide
Insects true - Flies

Large eyes (may almost almost fill the head)

Insects – Butterflies and moths

Use of the > symbol to separate the criteria is a bit odd, would a dot be better?


JoOPALGlasgow's picture


Pg 2. Would be nice to reference the source for the fact "125 of our most threatened species are associated with hedges"

"corridors or 'roadways' [INSERT: "between safe habitats"] for small creatures"

Pg 3. Would be nice to have a quick line about best time of year to carry out survey as this is something that is frequently asked.

Pg 5. "Use the photographs in the Hedges Guide to help you" Change "Hedges Guide" to match title of Hedgerow Identification Guide for clarity as to what document you ar referring to

Q3. Should we have the option "On your own"  as we advise in the H&S section Pg 4. " Do not do this survey on your own..."

Pg 11. Do we still want people to note signs of other wildlife as well as actual sightings? not clear from Q20.


Hedgerow Identification guide

"Heavily cut" does this necessarily have to be narrow?


Invertebrate ID Guide

Equipment. I'd also recommend a paintbrush for picking up delicate inverts without damaging them. Also useful for transferring inverts to jar for those too squeamish to touch.

Bees, wasps and ants. Not clear from page whether participants should include sawflies in this category. Sugggest changing "top tip" on this page to make this clear as hoverflies are already covered in "top tip" on the True flies page

True flies. repetition of the word "almost" in "Large eyes may... head"

Spiders and harvestmen. General confusion over what counts as "daddy long legs" Harvestmen, cranefly and "daddy-long-legs spider all commonly attributed this name. Might be worth clarification on this point as we talk specifically about the spider. maybe content for a "top tip"?

Spiders and harvestmen. Potential to myth bust here, many beleive that daddy long legs have the most poisonous venom in the animal kingdom but fangs are too small to pierce human skin. Actually there is no scientific backing to this fact, they do have fangs and venom but no tests have shown it to be extreemely poisonous! 

Format for Beetles and True Bugs page not as nice as others where there is clear definition between identifiying features and extra interesting facts as on Molluscs and annelids page. This definition stops the amount of text seeming so overwhelming


a.styles's picture

Survey booklet

P3. Move full stop to after “A spy pot (see page 14)[.]”

End of page: “Remember – please be careful not…” – justify centre or left looks odd justified to right. Also [-] dash after remember shows up as a box (unknown character) when I download.

P5. Q3. Should there be an option for “other” and a description box?

Q6. Can anything be done about the word “location” being out of sync? E.g If you are unsure of your exact location. See OPAL website. (Where?)

Q11. Term Leggy?  Could add- (top heavy hedge) or (bare at the bottom)?

P9. Activity3. “Guide to common invertebrates” actual name “Invertebrates identification guide”

P11. Activity 4. Use the tape measure in your pack to measure the size of all holes in the ground under or next to the hedge [insert: (Question 19)]. Only record holes that are free from leaves, stones, loose soil or other debris

P14 “You can find more information about pooters at www.OPALexplorenature.org” (more detail for where on website?)

Hedgerow identification guide

Nothing to change/add

Invertebrate identification guide

Nothing else to change/add

Biodiversitysurvey Guide

OpalOwen's picture

Pg1. first line - "Biodiversity is essential to sustaining the living networks" susbtitue for in place of to in this sentence

         2nd from bottom paragraph: "A clawdd or Cornish hedge is a special type of..." Wouldn't:  "Clawdds and Cornish hedges are special types of hedge" sound better? The issue of the Welsh plural of clawdd as cloddiau might be an issue, I suppose.


Pg3.  are we including tape measures?


Biodiversity Survey Booklet: Minor amends

NoelElliott's picture

P2 Under "Wildlife habitat"

1st Paragraph insert brackets)

"More than 80%,,,and food (10 of the 18....)


Check acronyms across all literature (GPS) and insert OS (Ordnance Survey) here.


3rd sentence (comma)

"If necessary, look at..."


Point 6

The text in "green" needs tidying.


In the section "Use the images..."

If referencing guides then use the same style across all literature. Elsewhere, the guides name is "green and emboldened".


2nd paragraph (comma)

"For wildlife, the ideal...trees"



caption references "Britain's mammals"

What about Northern Ireland?

Biodiversity survey booklet

iwanedwards's picture

P12 : picture of Hazel nuts.TYPO: text underneath should read gnawed NOT grawed

Invertibrate Guide

Bob Griffiths's picture

Page 5

8 Legs should be called Arachnids not Insects?