UCL News


Vote for UCL Opal scheme in the National Lottery Awards

7 June 2011

A scheme involving UCL scientists has been shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards 2011, and your vote could help them win.

opal winners

Open Air Laboratories Network (OPAL) is a consortium of Universities and other organisations across England, and UCL is one of the partners. It aims to give people from all walks of life a means to explore and discover nature through free regional and national activities. It also aims to show people why their local environment is important and how what they do as individuals is critical both locally and on a larger scale. This has led to the project being shortlisted for the Best environment Project in the National Lottery Awards 2011.

Last year UCL led the OPAL Water Centre, asking people from all over the country to take part in a survey of their local lakes and ponds. Participants were asked to take water clarity and pH measurements (which determine the acidity of water) before uploading their findings online.

Dr Neil Rose (UCL Geography) is part of the OPAL team. He explained: "From a personal point-of-view, OPAL has been quite a different sort of project to be involved with. Usually my work has been more traditionally 'scientific' research but OPAL has meant explaining to all sorts of people what we do and why it is important. This has involved taking a step back and re-evaluating what we do and why, in order that we can then best explain it to the people we meet. The nomination is great because it allows our message to reach more people across the country so they can get involved with our activities."

You can vote for OPAL to enter the final of the National Lottery Awards by visiting the link at the top of this page.

Image: Redwood Class from Woodhall Primary School, Suffolk. Winners of the recent OPAL wildlife competition.

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