Unify citizen science approaches to collect more meaningful data, say tree health experts

Information collected by volunteers can be of huge value to government in developing policies to control the growing number of pests and diseases affecting the UK’s trees. But to ensure that this data can be put to good use, there is a clear need for ‘citizen science’ projects to adopt consistent approaches to data collection.

Record it or lose it – why biological recording matters

Jonathan Fenn from the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) explains why recording the animal and plants species you see around you is vital to protecting the UK’s wildlife.

Aside from the personal reward of observing the birds, beetles and plantlife that nature has to offer, biological recording is an essential cornerstone of modern ecology and conservation.

OPAL network scoops up Imperial College London award

OPAL team with Imperial President Alice Gast

OPAL has been recognised by Imperial College London for its outstanding work in engaging the public with science and nature through its nationwide network of partners.

At an awards ceremony held in London on 20 June, the OPAL team received the Collaboration Award for Societal Engagement as part of the annual President’s Awards, which recognise Imperial staff, students and community partners who have delivered excellence in their field.

Help scientists track the spread of the New Zealand flatworm

New Zealand flatworm

OPAL Scientists are asking members of the public to help them to better understand how far the New Zealand Flatworm has spread in the UK, and what effect this slimy invader is having on the local environment.

Introduced to the UK on imported plant material in the 1960s, the New Zealand Flatworm eats our native earthworms, which are essential to healthy soils and food chains.

8 things we’ve learned from the first year of the Polli:Nation survey

Last year saw the launch of Polli:Nation, a large-scale national survey that is providing answers to important research questions about the health and status of pollinating insects across the UK. Polli:Nation Project Officer Vanessa Barber reports back on an eventful first season.