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Listen free to uplifting joyous birdsong

July 2019

Turtle dove
A turtle dove is in serious decline

One of the glories of Britain is our wonderful birdsong. Uplifting, soothing, the melodious sounds of our natural birds as they sing their hearts out in our trees and bushes brings joy to everyone’s heart.

So it is great news that we can now all enjoy natural birdsong at any time of day and night thanks to a new birdsong audio that the RSPB have put together.

Even better, the RSPC Birdsong Radio loop is entirely free and easy to obtain on any mobile device or through the RSPB website.

It is not all good news though. The wonderful recordings of sweet birdsong were put together to mark the success of a campaign to highlight the shocking loss of over 40 million birds form the UK in 50 years.

RSPB research carried out earlier this year showed despite the fact one in ten wildlife UK species are critically endangered, just 15 per cent of people realise nature is in crisis. In fact, over a quarter of the UK believes nature is doing well. The reality is that 56 per cent of species in the UK are in decline and our natural world is facing an immediate crisis.

The RSPB birdsong app was inspired by the popular former Radio Birdsong, a broadcast of layered bird calls and country sounds used as a test transmission for Classic FM and for digital radio stations during the 90s and 00s. At its peak it was thought to have 500,000 weekly listeners and its removal was met with widespread public outcry and media coverage. 

RSPB’s Adrian Thomas, who recorded the main 35-minute birdsong loop you can hear on the RSPB Birdsong Radio app, said: “We wanted to create a gentle, ambient background chorus of some of our most-loved and seriously endangered birds to take listeners on an uplifting walk through the countryside.

“People take bird song for granted but our skies are slowly falling silent. Countryside ramblers would struggle to hear the songs of some of the most beautiful birds on the track now.”

Radio engineer and broadcaster Quentin Howard, who helped develop RSPB Birdsong Radio, said there was a public outcry when Digital One decided to remove Radio Birdsong in favour of music from unsigned bands.

He said: “Listener response was always amazing and I had hundreds of letters and emails. When it was live the original Radio Birdsong was used in a cancer ward whilst patients received chemotherapy treatment, by prisoners who hadn’t heard birds for 25 years and in hospital and dentist waiting rooms to calm patients’ nerves.

“People used it to get their babies off to sleep. There was quite a backlash when Radio Birdsong ceased transmissions in 2009. Working with the RSPB on the creation of this app was a delight,” he said.

Listeners of the RSPB Birdsong Radio app can hear a soothing soundscape of UK birdsong; featuring species suffering serious decline from all four UK countries such as the turtle dove, nightingale, snipe, greenfinch and curlew. The app will also give users the option to hear multiple birdsong tracks including an edited version of an earlier Let Nature Sing track that made it to number 18 in the charts. There is even a handy alarm-clock feature that will let listeners wake up to the gentle purring of the turtle dove rather than a blaring alarm.

The RSPB Birdsong Radio app is now available to download from mobile device app stores – simply search ‘RSPB Birdsong Radio’ to download the free app.

It is also available through their website at rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing


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Listen free to uplifting joyous birdsong

Turtle dove

It is great news that we can now all enjoy natural birdsong at any time of day and night thanks to a new birdsong audio that the RSPB have put together.

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