OPAL scientist's blog

An environmentally-friendly Christmas idea

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, York University

Project Dirt asked their followers on twitter for ideas for an eco-friendly Christmas, so I shared our Recycled Secret Santa activity. As twitter only allows you 140 characters, I thought it was worth posting in more detail here.

South-West Bioblitz makes some exciting discoveries!

OPAL South West joined forces with the Tamar Valley AONB to run a two-day Bioblitz in east Cornwall last weekend.

The event was designed to engage the local community with wildlife and biological recording in the valley. It was funded by the Cordiale Project – an EU funded initiative designed to inform the management of the AONB by understanding how the landscape has evolved and changed (for both good and bad) and recognising what is important about it.

OPAL Palaeolimnology IPS 2012

Simon Turner
OPAL Water Centre, UCL

Today I've been presenting some results from the OPAL Water Centre at the International Palaeolimnology Symposium 2012 in Glasgow.

Hopefully people here have learnt the importance of working with communities and why collecting and interpreting lake sediment histories from our regional lakes is important.

Discovering Orchards in Hertfordshire

Guest Blog from Zoe and Sarah
Nuffield Placement Students, OPAL East of England

Hello everybody, our names are Zoe and Sarah and we're sixth form students who have been awarded the Nuffield Bursary to work with OPAL East of England at the University of Hertfordshire. Our main aim is to study the distribution of mosses and lichens in orchards around Hertfordshire.

Caddisflies and Day-Flying Bats in Devon

Alison Smith
OPAL South West community scientist

This weekend I was fortunate enough to be on Exmoor for ‘Bogtastic’, part of a programme of community events organised by the Exmoor National Park team.

Unfortunately due to strong winds, we didn’t run our activities on top of the moor, in the bogs, as originally planned, but in the sheltered valley of Simonsbath - a beautiful little moorland village with an old mill and stream, fed by the high moors above.

Sunshine, scouts and societies

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York

We had a great day last Sunday at the Big Nature Day, organised by the Natural History Museum, an event celebrating the work of OPAL so far, promoting all the natural history societies and recording schemes we've been working with, and to launch the Cub Scout Naturalist Activity Badge.

I was tasked with helping a small group of cub scouts get their Badge, the first group in the world!


York Bioblitz

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York

Oh my goodness, it's been months since my last post! Apologies. My excuse is that I've been tweeting instead....if you're into twitter, we tweet via @OPALnature.

We are working hard, honest! We're looking forward to the summer and planning lots of fun activities. Probably the biggest event we're organising is the York BioBlitz in Museum Gardens on the 15th and 16th June.


Devil's Coach Horse records flooding in!

Lucy Carter, Natural History Museum

Wow - yesterday's BBC Online piece has generated lots of interest in the Bugs Count survey, with requests for the survey packs coming in, and also lots of sightings of the Devil's Coach Horse beetle. 

Have you seen one? 



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