OPAL has reached half a million to encourage new nature lovers
A report launched early in 2013 found that the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) initiative, led by Imperial College London, has encouraged over half a million people to discover, enjoy and protect their local environment in the last five years. Field Studies Council (FSC) has been part of OPAL helping to achieve this along with other key environmental educators including the Natural History Museum and the Met Office.
Since its launch in 2007 OPAL has mapped over 25,000 sites across England through surveys carried out by local communities, schools and individuals. Trees, hedges, parks, gardens and playing fields have all been surveyed making this the largest public science project of its kind. Many sites are in urban areas not previously studied and over 100,000 of the survey participants were from hard to reach communities.
FSC has played an important role in this scheme producing resource packs with new fold-out charts, and helping to support public outreach through regional projects. Both FSC and OPAL have similar aims to inspire more people about the natural world and also to encourage more people to observe and record nature.
The Community Environment Report which showed these findings was presented to the House of Lords in January.
Find out more about OPAL and FSC
Tuesday, January 22, 2013