Information for Schools and Colleges


OPAL Biodiversity Survey

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Take part in the OPAL biodiversity survey and uncover the diverse range of wildlife in our hedges. You’ll contribute to valuable research and learn more about the importance of hedges and how you can improve them.

Hedges support many animals by providing them with food and shelter. Berries and seeds are food for birds, while holes beneath the hedge are often home to small mammals. You’ll also discover caterpillars, shieldbugs and many other invertebrates living among the leaves.

By telling us what you find, we can instantly rate the condition of your hedge and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

How to take part

Step 1: Download the free easy-to-follow instructions and guides from:

Step 2: Find a suitable hedge to carry out the survey and answer the questions in the workbook. Use our guide to help you identify the invertebrates you might find.

Step 3: Submit your results using our simple online form at: or send back via the Freepost address on the workbook.

Benefits to pupils

Pupils will learn a range of skills in identifying plant and animal species associated with hedges. The will learn basic environmental surveying techniques and will boost their confidence in engaging with wildlife. They will also work in teams on the project, and will contribute to valuable scientific research being conducted into hedgerow biodiversity.

Relevant subjects Type of activity Suitable audiences
  • Biology
  • Resources
  • Y 10
  • Y 11
  • Y 12
  • Y 13
  • Y 3
  • Y 4
  • Y 5
  • Y 6
  • Y 7
  • Y 8
  • Y 9
  • KS 2
  • KS 3
  • KS 4
  • KS 5
  • All Years