Rare and beautiful recording of Norfolk dawn chorus is re-released

Andrew Flintham, from Newton Flotman, has released a digital version of his dawn chorus recording at Thompson 

Andrew Flintham, from Newton Flotman, has released a digital version of his dawn chorus recording at Thompson - Credit: Archant/iWitness/David Thacker

A wildlife enthusiast who gained national recognition for his perfect recording of a dawn chorus has released a digital version to highlight the scourge of noise pollution. 

'Breckland's Dawn Chorus', captured by Andrew Flintham at Thompson, between Watton and Thetford, was the best-selling wildlife recording of the 1990s. 

Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) is appealing for help to purchase a series of arable fields and seminat

'Breckland's Dawn Chorus' was captured by Andrew Flintham at Thompson, between Watton and Thetford, in 1993 - Credit: Richard Osbourne/NWT

The 70-minute clip gave listeners a rare, undisturbed insight into the beauty of morning birdsong symphony. 

But Mr Flintham's efforts also showcased the immense modern-day impact of humans on the natural world.

It took him nine attempts to achieve a flawless recording back in 1993 - and he says the same today would be "impossible".


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Nevertheless, it has not stopped the music producer from re-releasing his creation online to appeal to a new audience. 

Andrew Flintham, from Newton Flotman, gained national recognition for his dawn chorus recording in Norfolk

Andrew Flintham, from Newton Flotman, gained national recognition for his dawn chorus recording in Norfolk - Credit: Jake Kidde-Hansen

“Breckland's Dawn Chorus is a unique recording made in just one take very early one morning in beautiful woodland,” said Mr Flintham, who lives in Newton Flotman.  

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“You can hear an array of birds within an uninterrupted chorus and, for many of us who spend much of our time in front of computers, it offers a unique escape from our busy and stressful lives.

“Now the track has been digitalised, every moment of birdsong, from the blackbirds to the robins, is even sharper and clearer than it was before.

“You can even hear the sound of a muntjac deer in the vicinity and a bumble bee flitting past.”

It is increasingly difficult to record a perfect dawn chorus without noise pollution

It is increasingly difficult to record a perfect dawn chorus without noise pollution - Credit: iWitness/Gary Snelling

Breckland's Dawn Chorus is now available for download from brecklandsdawnchorus.bandcamp.com.

Mr Flintham, 58, hopes the track will appeal to those who have felt drawn to nature during the pandemic - and encourage them to appreciate and protect their natural surroundings.

The actor and voiceover artist has, however, lamented the challenge of repeating his feat. 

“For those who don’t want to be up and out in a forest at 4am, this is a wonderful way to experience a truly English dawn chorus," he added.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) is appealing for help to purchase a series of arable fields and seminat

'Breckland's Dawn Chorus' was captured by Andrew Flintham at Thompson, between Watton and Thetford, in 1993 - Credit: Mike Page/NWT

"But it would be completely impossible to make a recording like this today because there is just too much noise pollution.

"I've even spent time recording in the Scottish Highlands, but on every occasion, when I listened back afterwards, I could hear a road or an airplane in the distance."

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