Blue-grey worm

OPAL surveys - we need you!

Learn new skills, have fun, and help scientists in important research

Discover what's living in your hedge

Surveying hedges for the Biodiversity SurveyThe OPAL Biodiversity Survey aims to uncover the diverse range of wildlife in our hedges and help you to improve the condition of your hedge.

Help OPAL scientists with valuable research and see your results instantly on our interactive map.


Discover the work of our National Centres

OPAL has funded the development of five National Centres, each with a particular research focus. They aim to increase our knowledge and understanding of our environment.


The OPAL Soil Centre aims to improve our knowledge of the world beneath us. How polluted is our soil? Which earthworms live in which soil types?

The soil and earthworm survey is one way our soil team hope to investigate these questions, and you can help.


How does air pollution affect our plants and natural environment?

The OPAL Air Centre has been set up to explore the impact of air pollution by exposing plants to pollutants in controlled conditions.

Visit the Air Centre on an open day to learn all about the varied research projects and discover why air pollution is such an important global issue.


Lakes and ponds provide a home for so many fascinating creatures, but pollution is an increasing problem.

The OPAL water team are monitoring ponds and lakes throughout England to investigate the levels of pollution and study the effects on the animals that live there.


The UK is home to a fascinating range of plants and animals, and there is so much to learn about every one of them.

OPAL is running various projects to raise awareness of UK biodiversity, including Bugs Count, the biodiversity survey, and the nature community iSpot.


Climate change is a major environmental concern. But how is the climate changing in Britain? And what can we do about it?

Explore the OPAL Climate Centre pages to find out more about climate change, ask questions to the experts and share your weather photos. Join in our climate survey and help us explore ways in which we are affecting the climate.

OPAL scientist blog – join in the discussion

News, updates, stories and opinions from our team of community scientists across the country. Get an inside look at OPAL, learn more about our research, and be the first to know what's happening near you.

"Likin’ lichens – this is what many a London resident has been doing over the past fortnight."



Register as an OPAL user

Join the growing community

As an OPAL user you can analyse and compare your survey results, and comment on our news stories and blogs. You'll also receive our newsletter to keep you up to date with everything that's going on with OPAL.

Registering is quick and easy, all you need is an email address.


OPAL helps people to explore, study and enjoy their local environment. Discover our surveys and regional activities.


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Learning LabExplore the OPAL Learning Lab to discover what your data can do, test your nature knowledge and understand more about our national surveys.


Completed an OPAL survey?

Total OPAL surveys submitted so far:



Test your tree knowledge

Which tree is sometimes referred to as 'Sussex weed'?
Total votes: 280
Horse Chestnut
Common Oak
Common Ash

Latest iSpot observations

Can you help to identify these plants and animals? Click on a photo to share your opinion with the OPAL iSpot community.

Black-Tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
Leaf beetle (Cryptocephalus)
Bar-Tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)
Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

Respect, protect and enjoy our environment
Wherever you take part in OPAL surveys and activities, please follow the OPAL Code.


a vital habitat

Grass snake (Natrix natrix)Did you know...

Heathlands are a vital habitat for all six native British reptile species, including the grass snake, adder and common lizard.

The OPAL partnership is led by Imperial College London

  • Field Studies Council
  • Imperial College London
  • Met Office
  • National Biodiversity Network Trust
  • Natural History Museum
  • Newcastle University
  • Open University
  • Royal Parks
  • University College London
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of York

Supported by the
Big Lottery Fund

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