Counting worms, blowing bubbles, exploring hedges, and looking for lichen. These are just some of the things people have been doing as part of OPAL, a project that has been shortlisted for the Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards today.
The public has until 20 June to vote for the Opal Air Laboratories (OPAL) network, the 5-year programme that began in 2007 with a Big Lottery Fund grant.
OPAL's aim is to get more people of all ages and backgrounds involved in nature and science.
The projects bring communities, nature enthusiasts and scientists together to discover more about their local area and contribute to scientific research.
Children discover the nature and science on their doorstep with the OPAL projects
There are ongoing wildlife surveys investigating earthworms, climate change, hedgerows, air pollution, and the health of lakes and ponds.
The Natural History Museum is an OPAL partner and developed the latest OPAL Bugs Count survey, which launches on 8 June.
'Everyone involved with OPAL is absolutely delighted to have made the semi-finals of the National Lottery Awards,' says Linda Davies, OPAL Director.
'And it is a great acknowledgement by the Lottery that we have put our funding to good use. We really hope the public support what we are doing and help vote us into the final.
'It would be a fantastic reward for those involved in the project to receive national recognition for their amazing work and encourage even more people to join OPAL and engage with nature.'
The voting for the semi-final National Lottery Awards 2011 ends at midday 20 June.