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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

OPAL officially rolls out across the UK with new survey packs

To mark the official UK-wide launch of the Big Lottery funded OPAL project, the OPAL team (Open Air Laboratories) have revised and updated their national surveys for people to use in all corners of the UK.

People of all ages can now contribute to scientific research in their local area on everything from invasive species to environmental quality.

The programme, led by Imperial College London, has been inspiring communities in England to discover, enjoy and protect their local environment since 2007. Last year the scheme started work with Scottish and Northern Irish school pupils, teachers, community groups, colleges and universities. The project and its partners have now engaged with more than 850,000 people submitting more than 50,000 records about their local environments.

OPAL Director Dr David Slawson said: “We are very pleased to be able to roll out OPAL in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Not only are people learning more about their environment, but this valuable data is helping scientists learn a great deal about biodiversity in our country, especially in areas they would never normally be able to study, such as back gardens. We hope many more people will join in, explore nature and contribute to our knowledge of the environment across the whole of the UK.”

FSC has been involved with the project in more than one way.  Our Publications Unit produce the OPAL survey packs and have done since the beginning of the scheme.  We also have a dedicated OPAL Community Scientist in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland to deliver free outdoor learning sessions to schools and communities in their regions.

More about OPAL UK Scotland

More about OPAL UK Northern Ireland

View and download the new survey packs

Opal Group        Opal Pack 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015