The Big Lottery Fund has today announced that OPAL will receive a grant to extend its work into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
OPAL has already inspired more than half a million people across England to discover their local environment through our seven national nature surveys, events and resources.
Thanks to the new award of £3 million, we will be able to work with communities across the whole of the UK over the next three years, helping thousands more people engage with the environment in new ways and learn about biodiversity, pollution and climate change.
“We are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for the faith they have shown in OPAL and for their continued support," OPAL Director Linda Davies said.
"This new award will allow the successes OPAL has had in England to be taken into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“The environmental challenges we face today are transnational problems: threats such as climate change and invasive pests and diseases like ash dieback respect no national boundaries. They call for a collective response that draws on both scientific expertise and local knowledge.
"This new award will allow us to better understand the impacts of our changing environment across the United Kingdom and how best we can respond as a society.”
Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “It is well recognised that we as a society are becoming less connected to the natural environment. More and more people live in cities.
"This disconnection is causing well documented negative impacts, including loss of physical and mental well-being, and a loss of skills, knowledge and understanding related to the environment.
"The grant to OPAL aims to redress the balance, enabling people across the country to get close to the wonders of the natural world which sustains us all.”