Northumberland man brings garden birdsong to BBC Radio 3

The soundscape of a year in rural Northumberland can be heard on BBC Radio 3 from tomorrow.

Sunday, 23rd August 2020, 7:00 am

Whittingam man Geoff Sample presents ‘The Essay: A Birdsong Garden’, a series of five 14-minute episodes, from August 24-28 at 10.45pm.

The series takes the listener through the changing seasons and soundscape of a year, beginning in May, the month of the full chorus, through to the return of spring again.

In a mix of memoir, natural history, folklore, birdsong and spacious soundscapes, Geoff, a wildlife sound recordist, considers how living close to, and listening intently to nature can enrich our lives.

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Geoff Sample has previously worked on workshops with Glendale Middle School.

The coronavirus pandemic – and the peace and quiet of lockdown – has made many people more aware of the beauty of birdsong on our doorsteps.

It also gave Geoff an opportunity to review the five-year period spent in the remote and quiet Northumberland home he sought out, to record and study the birdsong of a typical rural garden.

The first episode features the dawn chorus of May in the Vale of Whittingham, picking out redstart, garden warbler and robin for a closer listen, and considers how birdsong provides a subliminal sountrack to our lives and solace in times of stress.

Follow up episodes feature nightingales, chiffchaff, pheasants, swallows, owls, blackbirds and dunnocks.

A Birdsong Garden was commissioned for Culture In Quarantine, funded and supported by The Space Arts, BBC Arts and Arts Council England.

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