Cushion Xanthoria

OPAL surveys - we need you!

Learn new skills, have fun, and help scientists in important research

Discover more about the health of our trees

Join in the tree health surveyJoin in the tree health survey before the end of September and provide scientists with vital information about the pests and diseases that can affect our trees.

Download your free ID guides and instructions, and get involved today.


Discover the work of our National Centres

OPAL has funded the development of five National Centres, each with a particular research focus. They aim to increase our knowledge and understanding of our environment.


The OPAL Soil Centre aims to improve our knowledge of the world beneath us. How polluted is our soil? Which earthworms live in which soil types?

The soil and earthworm survey is one way our soil team hope to investigate these questions, and you can help.


How does air pollution affect our plants and natural environment?

The OPAL Air Centre has been set up to explore the impact of air pollution by exposing plants to pollutants in controlled conditions.

Visit the Air Centre on an open day to learn all about the varied research projects and discover why air pollution is such an important global issue.


Lakes and ponds provide a home for so many fascinating creatures, but pollution is an increasing problem.

The OPAL water team are monitoring ponds and lakes throughout England to investigate the levels of pollution and study the effects on the animals that live there.


The UK is home to a fascinating range of plants and animals, and there is so much to learn about every one of them.

OPAL is running various projects to raise awareness of UK biodiversity, including Bugs Count, the biodiversity survey, and the nature community iSpot.


Climate change is a major environmental concern. But how is the climate changing in Britain? And what can we do about it?

Explore the OPAL Climate Centre pages to find out more about climate change, ask questions to the experts and share your weather photos. Join in our climate survey and help us explore ways in which we are affecting the climate.

OPAL scientist blog – join in the discussion

News, updates, stories and opinions from our team of community scientists across the country. Get an inside look at OPAL, learn more about our research, and be the first to know what's happening near you.

"In June I spent a week doing work experience with OPAL... Every day leaving South Kensington station I was welcomed with a lively buzz around the University buildings."

Sorcha Leavey
Work experience student


Register as an OPAL user

Join the growing community

As an OPAL user you can analyse and compare your survey results, and comment on our news stories and blogs. You'll also receive our newsletter to keep you up to date with everything that's going on with OPAL.

Registering is quick and easy, all you need is an email address.


OPAL helps people to explore, study and enjoy their local environment. Discover our surveys and regional activities.


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Total OPAL surveys submitted so far:



Test your tree knowledge

Which tree is sometimes referred to as 'Sussex weed'?
Total votes: 328
Horse Chestnut
Common Oak
Common Ash

Latest iSpot observations

Can you help to identify these plants and animals? Click on a photo to share your opinion with the OPAL iSpot community.

Yellow-Tail (Euproctis similis)
Adder's Tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum)
Micro 22.7.14.Pilgrims Way
Frog Orchid (Dactylorhiza viridis)
Can anyone ID please?
Jellyfish (Cnidaria)

Respect, protect and enjoy our environment
Wherever you take part in OPAL surveys and activities, please follow the OPAL Code.


threatened mammals

Did you know....

10 of the 18 most threatened mammals in the UK rely on hedges for fruit and berries to eat.

The OPAL partnership is led by Imperial College London

  • Cofnod
  • Field Studies Council
  • Glasgow City of Science
  • National Museum Wales
  • Newcastle University
  • North Wales Wildlife Trust
  • Plymouth University
  • Queens University Belfast
  • TCV
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of York

Supported by the
Big Lottery Fund

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