Listen to beautiful dawn chorus on Halvergate marshes

Taken on Halvergate Marshes this morning whilst out collecting sound recordings of the dawn chorus a

Taken on Halvergate Marshes this morning whilst out collecting sound recordings of the dawn chorus as part of Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership Scheme. Picture: Will Burchnall - Credit: Will Burchnall

As the sun slowly creeps above the Broads, warming the fresh morning air, the silence is gently broken.

Birdsong fills the air, as chirps and tweets blend for the dawn chorus - a sound that most, fast asleep or busying themselves with the day ahead, would not experience.

But a fledgling project, part of a major initiative to protect and promote the Broads, is recording life in the area to immerse listeners in its natural environment from the comfort of their own homes.

So far, the lottery-funded Broads Landscape Partnership (BLP) scheme has captured the dawn chorus on Halvergate marshes, with ideas now welcomed for future recordings.

Behind the first clip, recorded at the start of May, is Will Burchnall, programme manager for the Water, Mills and Marshes scheme, who described having a front-row seat for the experience as 'absolutely amazing'.

I thought I would brave the rain for a walk over Halvergate Marshes. I was not alone as this little

I thought I would brave the rain for a walk over Halvergate Marshes. I was not alone as this little Reed Warbler was seen collecting insects for its chicks. - Credit: citizenside.com


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'It was really fantastic,' he said. 'It was 5am, in the middle of nowhere and I was just surrounded by the sounds of the birds.'

He hopes the soundscapes will offer a taste of the Broads landscape and will encourage people to venture out and explore more of the area.

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Mr Burchnall said they had worked closely with the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) during the project.

'The idea came out of a discussion with the NNAB when we discussed how to give people a taste of the landscape and a reason to go out and see it,' he said.

East Anglian birds at risk of extinction in Europe. Pictured: Lapwing amongst grass, summer. Pictur

East Anglian birds at risk of extinction in Europe. Pictured: Lapwing amongst grass, summer. Picture: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) - Credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

'The recordings were one way which was particularly helpful to those who are blind or partially sighted.'

The BLP, which includes the Broads Authority and 54 other organisations, is welcoming suggestions for the next recording, with ideas so far including wherries under sail and sounds of river traffic.

The soundscapes are part of a major scheme to look after water, mills and marshes on the Broads, which received an earmarked grant of £2.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) last October.

At the time, £226,000 was released to help the BLP develop the plans in order to apply for the full grant at a second stage.

If the bid is successful, dozens of projects will be undertaken by the bodies involved for five years from the end of 2017.

For information or to suggest an idea, contact the authority on 01603 610734.

Do you have a Broads story we should be writing about? Email Lauren Cope on lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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