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.


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.


The Ghosts of Ysgol Pencae

By OPAL Community Scientist, Barbara Brown

“There’s a slug! And a worm!" shout a group of Year 3 pupils in the middle of their OPAL bug hunt in Ysgol Pencae’s vegetable garden.

I lean over their shoulders and help the clipboard holder to record it. Then I look for the slug. “There it is – its white!” says the group’s recorder. 

It is very white, perhaps the purest white slug I have ever seen. Which makes me wonder, so I pick it up.

“Urgh – she’s picked it up!” chorus the group. I laugh and say: “It’s not very slimy, it's ticklish”.


Pond dipping with the Flintshire Disability Forum

By Iwan Edwards
OPAL Community Scientist, North Wales Wildlife Trust

One of OPAL’s objectives is to ensure everyone can get involved in exploring and monitoring their local environment.

And it was with this goal in mind that we first visited the Flintshire Disability Forum, a group which helps and supports people in the county who have physical disabilities.


Enjoy OPAL activities in Welsh

Welsh language versions of all six of OPAL’s national nature surveys are now available for the first time.

Translations of the Soil and Earthworm, Air, Water and Biodiversity Surveys can be downloaded from our website, joining the existing Welsh versions of our Bugs Count and Tree Health Surveys.





Mae Cofnod yn un o dri phartner yng Nghymru a ymunodd â phartneriaeth OPAL yn 2014 wrth i ni ymestyn i bob cwr o'r DU.

Wildlife enthusiasts going pond dippingYnglŷn â Cofnod

Cofnod yw Canolfan Cofnodion Lleol Gogledd Cymru (CCLl). Mae'n cynnal cronfa ddata byd natur fwyaf y rhanbarth ac mae'n rhan o rwydwaith Cymru gyfan a rhanbarthol cyntaf y DU o CCLlau.


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