I’ll start this blog with a picture from yesterday female ‘Lichen’ who has just a week left before her eggs hatch. She’s been a great mother so far, sitting in this horrific wet weather. I’ve kept an eye on her as I honestly thought that the ditch she was in would fill with water but luckily it hasn’t. I should have more faith in her nest location choice, they clearly know what they’re doing.
I’ve spent more time sound recording this year than I have taking photo’s, but it’s mainly been for research rather than creating presentable audio. Listening to the world through an amplified microphone, does have two different affects on me. It mainly helps me focus on isolated sounds, focusing my brain on one thing which helps drown out noise-pollution. It can also however make you more aware of noise, as when the bird stops singing, all you’re left with is the sounds of over-head planes, distant traffic, or the roaring sound of off-road motorbikes. Finding locations that are noise-free in Gwent, is becoming near impossible. Is there any wonder that the world is suffering from the highest number of depression cases ever recorded?
A lack of understanding from the governments of the world regarding sound-pollution is mostly because ‘sound’ for them is some unquantifiable measure of consequences that cannot be contained.
This is so far from the truth! We need to approached the subject in a different manner and a start would be to recognise sound for what it really is, and that is Pressure.
No matter what the sound is, big or small, we receive that sound via pressure to our ears drums, and that pressure signal is interpreted by the brain. Our brains work so hard to filter out bad sound pressure, but it’s a battle we’re going to lose. This is why thousands like me escape to the countryside, to try and experience natures gift of silence. In many places we’ve lost it already, but it’s not too late.
There have been some huge milestones recently in the fight against noise-pollution - https://us.whales.org/2018/07/03/noise-pollution-chronically-stresses-whales-and-dolphins/
Marine scientists have been studying Whale sounds for decades and with thousands of Whales washing up on our beaches every year, finally it was proven that military-sonar was the cause. Sound travels much further under water, and as a result, much of our marine life has evolutionary adaptations to exploit this
While it’s a good thing that the world is being forced to think about air and water pollution, we also need to fight the corner for noise and light pollution too. We need protected zones all around the globe where traffic is diverted so we can minimise our impact on natural silence. Hopefully one day we’ll have silent zones close to home that are protected also but for now, it’s my goal to seek these locations out for my own mental health.
This video is a couple years old now, but please watch it. It highlights many of the things I’ve mentioned.