The UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) commenced, in July 1997, an H alpha survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Magellanic Clouds. It uses a high specification, single-element interference filter of exceptional quality which was specially designed for the purpose. With a clear aperture of more than 305mm on a square 360 x 360 glass RG610 substrate, it is almost certainly the largest of its type in astronomy. With fine grained Kodak Tech Pan film-based emulsion as the detector, a survey with an unique combination of coverage, sensitivity and resolution will be produced, superior to any other survey of ionized hydrogen gas in terms of these combined properties. The survey currently comprises 233 Galactic Plane and 40 Magellanic Cloud fields on 4-degree centres and is expected to take 3 years to complete. The survey may be produced on him according to demand. However, the prime aim is the release of a fully calibrated digital survey based on SuperCOSMOS scans of the original films at 10 mu m (0.67arcsec) resolution as a CDrom or equivalent atlas. This is the first time that a UKST survey will be primarily released in digital form for the astronomical community. e The survey will be a valuable astronomical resource for a wide range of projects dealing with star formation, the interstellar medium (ISM) and galactic structure. Many discoveries have already been made. Here we present examples and results of new resolved planetary nebulae, together with brief details of other areas of research with Herbig Hare objects, supernova remnants and work in the Magellanic Clouds.