Sunday, 30 October 2011 - Your Place To Share Nature - A Review

On a recent visit to Mere Sands Wood in Ormskirk,  I picked up a leaflet advertising a website called, which was all related to nature and sharing your findings with other nature loving people.

As I was due to attend a Fungi Foray at Mere Sands Wood, I placed the leaflet in my pocket for me to study in more detail when I got home.

Back home, I retrieved the leaflet and navigated my way to the website, wondering what it was all about.

I was very pleased to find a simple to navigate, well laid out and extremely informative website. This could be just what I've been looking for. Somewhere to research different types of fungi for my new found interest.

But its a lot more than that. The site covers all aspects of nature, including :

  • Fungi & Lichens
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Plants
  • Invertebrates
  • Amphibians & Reptiles
  • Mammals
The website basically allows you to register a profile (user account), then browse the huge database of species uploaded by other users. This in itself is a great means of reference and is a great aid to identifying your findings.

You will find photos, taken by other users, with descriptions, location details, comments and other specimens related to your search.

But probably the best use of this website, is to submit a photo of a species of fungi, an insect or plant etc. and allow other users, to help you identify your finding. They can either agree with your identification or advise you on a possible alternative.

I have started using this site to build up my own little database of findings (So far, just fungi) and gives you immediate access from any form of Internet connection, such as your mobile phone when out in the field. A great research tool at your fingertips.

The site is provided by The Open University and is part of the OPAL Project, which is funded by the National Lottery.

I have found the majority of people on this site to be very knowledgeable and helpful and would recommend anybody interested in nature to seriously take a visit to this site.

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