Wildlife Presenter, Steve Leonard, launches OPAL today

OPAL will give people the tools and support to identify, monitor and record plants and wildlife in their local area. This will lead to the first community-led study of the natural world.

The OPAL project has been awarded an £11.7m grant by the Big Lottery Fund to encourage people to spend more time outside exploring their local environments.

Steve Leonard, said, “OPAL is a great way for people to find out more about the wildlife that exists right on their doorstep. By getting involved in these fun and free activities, people can help uncover new insights into the environment where they live.”

Anyone can take part in OPAL activities, You could help to develop a growing body of knowledge about the natural world by getting up close and personal with the the worms that live in your garden, discovering what lives in your local pond, assessing the condition of local woodland or measuring leaf sizes.

There will be a special weekend of festive-themed events on 6 and 7 December in London, York, Nottingham and Plymouth where you will have the chance to sample some typical OPAL activities, learn about local wildlife and hear from key people involved with the project.

Take a look at the OPAL website to find out what is being planned near where you live. The website will be developing rapidly over the coming months with the chance to participate in blogs and forums as well as keeping up with events and finding out more about nature and how you can become involved with the project.

Let us know what you think. Join the OPAL community now and add your comments to this page.




Good news

Nature Watch Corfe Mullen's picture

I'm looking forward to finding out more about Opal. This is just what we need in Dorset! Jane @ www.naturewatched.org

Looks an interesting and long

Wild about Perton's picture
Looks an interesting and long overdue development. I found out about Opal quite by chance when I was looking at the National History Museum web site. I have seen no national or local publicity about Opal. I notice that there is no Wildlife Trust or other wildlife organisation involvement e.g. RSPB, Butterfly Conservation etc. Why not? How are you communicating this initiative locally? Keith Elder Wild about Perton

Re: Looks an interesting and long

OPAL Web Editor's picture

Thanks Keith. Expect OPAL to gather more publicity as we approach the launch of the first national survey (on soils and earthworms) in March 2009. We have nine regional teams that are promoting OPAL locally by working closely with schools, nature societies and other community groups. I'd recommend contacting the OPAL representative for your area to find out more (West Midlands region, j.p.sadler@bham.ac.uk). If you have further general questions email opal@opalexplorenature.org.

Chris, OPAL web editor