Nature in your local patch

Who are we?

OPAL West Midlands is based at the University of Birmingham (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science and School of Bioscience). We work in association with a wide range of regional partners.


Female Red Mason Bee (Osmia rufa) constructing a nest (Photograph © Nicolas J. Vereecken).

ringed bluetit

A colour-ringed Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) (Photograph © Katie Glover)

Discover the wildlife on your doorstep!
Understanding Local Biodiversity
Our towns and cities are home to a wide variety of plants and animals just waiting to be discovered. We want to get everyone interested in the natural world that surrounds where you live, work, or go to school. This will not only ensure a brighter future for wildlife but should help you feel good about your local space and environment. Our emphasis is on 'your' local patch!
We aim to understand how biodiversity in green spaces is used and understood by individuals and organisations (e.g. councils, schools and businesses), and how this biodiversity is structured and functions ecologically in urban areas. This multidisciplinary aim is underpinned by an extensive knowledge exchange, citizen science programme that aims to facilitate full community involvement.
Get Involved Now
There are several ways of getting involved with OPAL in the West Midlands:

1. Attend one of the regional events listed below;
2. Help with bee hotel project or and add a record on our
bee pages;
3. Watch out for our colour-ringed birds and tell us where you have seen them by looking on our
bird pages;
4. Volunteer to help with our
bat surveys on your local ponds;
5. Look at some of our
nature and identification guides.
6. Join the online nature spotting community with
7. Try out the
OPAL National soil, air, water, biodiversity and climate surveys.
New Bee paper in PLoS ONE
See full text here for download
Bug Count Survey available now!
Visit the national Opal Bug Count page to upload your results. You can even do this using your mobile phone!
Brierley Hill guide now available

Our wildlife walk of Brierley Hill created by Pam Smith is now ready for download here.
New regional partners - Winterbourne House and Gardens

We have just teamed up with the University's Botanical gardens. Check out their new website for a list of activities and attractions. Ask a gardener a question using their twitter feed, or take part in their Easter photo competition.
Join the growing iSpot community

Seen anything you cannot identify? Got a photograph? Upload it to the iSpot pages and let an expert help you out.
Bee information sheets - now available from the BWARS website!

These are a must for all bee enthusiasts. See our bee pages for details.
Numerous identification guides

Available now from the national OPAL website.
OPALWM moth tips free downloads
These are available for download from here or the national OPAL website. Check our moth pages for more information on these delightful insects.
Live Twitter feeds
Upcoming West Midlands Events
Just scroll down the page below
Visit the national Opal Climate Survey page to upload your results. You can even do this using your mobile phone!
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