National Science Week starts on Friday so it's the perfect opportunity to get out into your garden to do a little experimenting. There are dozens of scientific projects you can join in with, and you don't need any special knowledge or equipment , just a burning interest in finding out about the natural world outside your back door.
You can join in with one of the many citizen science experiments happening all over the country right now. The Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) scheme brings together some of the country's top scientists and the general public to tap into the huge resource of information in our back gardens.
You can help them keep tabs on biodiversity by counting the life in your hedges, assess air quality by identifying lichens growing on nearby trees, and count earthworms for a snapshot of soil quality. For more information go to www.opalexplorenature.org.
Garden wildlife surveys to join include the stag beetle survey being run by the People's Trust for Endangered Species (ptes.org) and the BeeWatch survey, from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (www.bumblebeeconservation.org). So get out your magnifying glass and turn garden scientist for the week . Who knows what you might discover!