Vote for our kittiwakes in coastal poll

Kittiwakes on the Farne Islands. Picture by Jane Coltman
Kittiwakes on the Farne Islands. Picture by Jane Coltman
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The distinctive noise of kittiwakes in Northumberland is in the running to be named the UK’s favourite coastal sound.

Whether it’s the sound of waves rolling on to golden sands, seagulls crying from the clifftops or children playing on the beach, the National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and the British Library are on a mission to discover the UK’s favourite coastal sound, as part of a three-month crowd-sourced project, Sounds of our shores.

At its midway point, nearly 400 sounds have already been uploaded by the public to the British Library website, receiving 25,000 listens.

From the range of sounds already uploaded, 10 of the most evocative have been selected for a public vote, including kittiwakes in Northumberland. The online poll at www.surveymonkey.com/r/soundsofourshores opened last Thursday and closes at midnight on Thursday, August 27.

Cheryl Tipp, curator of wildlife and environment sounds at the British Library, who helped to curate the top 10, said: “In just six weeks we’ve had some brilliant recordings which show just how diverse the sounds of the coast really are.

“We want to showcase some of the best sounds while encouraging more people to get involved, especially over the summer holiday period.

“The poll will help us identify what people find so special about the coast; what sounds can truly transport them there and are so important to them.”

Musician, producer and founder member of Human League and Heaven 17, Martyn Ware, will be using the sounds submitted by the public to create a brand new piece of music for release in February 2016.

“The amazing diversity of sounds submitted is something beautiful to behold,” he said.

You can listen to the recording of kittiwakes at the nest in Northumberland here.