Join the national seaweed hunt

Seaweed on rocks, Cornwall, UKNext time you visit the coast, take a look at the different types of seaweed that live there and you can help our scientists monitor the effects of climate change and invasive species.

Seaweeds are easy to find and occur all around the UK coastline. There are a staggering 650 seaweed species in the UK and they play a vital role in the functioning of the marine environment.


Study Neighbourhood Nature at the Open University

AdderWould you like to take your interest in nature further? To support the work of OPAL, our partners at the Open University are offering a course where you can learn all about local wildlife.

Wherever you live, in a city or in the countryside, you will find areas that support a wide range of wildlife.

The Neighbourhood Nature course will teach you how to observe, identify and record the wildlife around you.


Run an online nature survey using Indicia

Survey mapWould your society or group like to run a nature survey and collect the results on your website? With recent advances in web technology, there is a growing interest in being able to record large amounts of biological data online.

The OPAL national surveys are an example of this. People across the country are able to enter their findings onto one website, so that a large scale scientific analysis can be performed.


How old??!

I've been learning about lichens in preparation for the next OPAL Survey, which involves looking at lichens to assess air quality (visit air survey page). I have to confess that I knew very little about lichens until a couple of months ago, despite them being present nearly everywhere I look now! Below is Xanthoria parietina, which is a nitrogen-loving species

Xanthoria parietina


Discover marine wildlife

Marine BioblitzJoin the Wembury Bioblitz and explore the diverse range of sea life along the Wembury coastline.

Learn all about marine wildlife and help us identify as many plants and animals as we can in a 24-hour period. You’ll be joined by experts from the Natural History Museum, Marine Biological Association, Devon Wildlife Trust, and a wide range of local nature groups.


Salisbury school wins VIP day at the Natural History Museum

A group of pupils from St Osmund’s Primary School in Salisbury have won £1,000 for their school and a VIP trip to the Natural History Museum in London.

The school’s gardening club, run by parent Xanthe Dell, were inspired to enter the competition, which ran in National Geographic Kids magazine to support the OPAL project.

OPAL put up the prize from its Big Lottery Fund grant to help encourage schools to improve their outdoor spaces.